Panthers Seek Consistency At Wright State Saturday
Markita Barnes

Markita Barnes

Game #24 • Feb. 14, 2009 • 3:30 p.m.
Milwaukee @ Wright State

Nutter Center (11,019) • Dayton, Ohio Live Stats, Listen, Watch
Radio: AM 920 The Wolf (Scott Warras)

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Feb. 13, 2009) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team stays on the road this weekend, heading to Dayton, Ohio, to take on Wright State Saturday. The Panthers and Raiders tip off at 3:30 p.m. central time.

How's It Going?
Milwaukee has alternated wins and losses in each of its last nine games, matching the longest such streak in the team's Division I history. After a 59-50 loss at Detroit Thursday, the Panthers are 10-13 on the season and 5-7 in league play.

Up Next
UWM returns to the Klotsche Center to close out its home slate with Loyola next Thursday and UIC Saturday.

Thinking Pink
The Panthers broke out their special pink uniforms against Valparaiso Jan. 29 for the first of five home games in which they planned to don the special jerseys this season. To honor the passing of North Carolina State head coach Kay Yow, the NCAA allowed teams to wear their pink jerseys in tribute through the WBCA Pink Zone celebration period. Milwaukee will wear its pink uniforms one more time this season as part of its Pink Zone celebration it hosts Loyola Feb. 19.

About The Raiders
Wright State has an identical 10-13 to the Panthers, but is one game up in the league standings at 6-6. The Raiders have lost three-straight games heading into Saturday, with the streak coming on the heels of a three-game winning streak. LaShawna Thomas and Shey Peddy lead the team, with both scoring in double figures. Thomas scores 13.2 points per game while Peddy is contributing in 12.6 points and 3.2 steals per game.

Series History
Milwaukee leads the all-time series with Wright State 21-13. The Panthers had won 15-straight meetings with WSU, but the Raiders are 5-3 over the last eight games, including a 61-41 win earlier this season at the U.S. Cellular Arena.

Last Time Out: Detroit 59, Milwaukee 50
UWM spotted Detroit a 13-1 lead before hitting its first field goal in falling to the Titans, 59-50, Thursday. The Panthers cut a 17-point second-half deficit to just two, before fading down the stretch as Detroit converted offensively down the stretch to hold onto the lead. Sophomore Ashley Imperiale led Milwaukee with 12 points, six rebounds and three steals while playing all 40 minutes. Senior Traci Edwards also scored 12 points, while pulling down seven boards on the night.

You Win Some, You Lose Some
The Panthers' current streak of nine-straight games alternating wins and losses is tied for the longest in their Division I history. UWM last alternated wins and losses in nine-straight games to start the 2005-06 season. It also had nine-game streaks spanning the end of one season and the start of the next two times, including 1998-2000 and 1990-92.

Welcome To The Block Party
Over a four-game stretch ending Feb. 5 against Youngstown State, Traci Edwards feasted on opponent's shots in the post to the tune of 19 blocked shots. The stretch has culminated with a school-record seven blocks against YSU. She had kicked off the streak Jan. 29 with three against Valparaiso. Then, two days later, she blocked five shots against Butler before swatting four against Cleveland State Feb. 5. Her latest barrage gives her 35 for the season and puts her atop the league with 1.6 per game. As a team, the Panthers blocked 31 shots in that four-game stretch, including a season-high nine in back-to-back games. The nine blocks, which UWM has reached three times this season, is tied for the second-most in school history.

The blocks have helped the Panthers' defensive efforts lately, but they have stepped up in other areas. Over its last four games, Milwaukee is allowing its opponents to shoot just 30.4 percent from the field, with Detroit's 35.1 percent Thursday as the "high-water" mark. UWM foes are also shooting just 27.0 percent from three-point range and scoring just 55.2 points in that time.

Pacing The Field
Traci Edwards is in the race to lead the league in a number of familiar categories, including scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocks. Edwards is looking to become the first player in league history to lead the league in scoring three times and rebounding four times. She has led the circuit in both categories in each of the last two seasons and was the top rebounder as a freshman. She could also become the second to lead in field goal percentage or blocks three times. Edwards is already the first player in league history to pace the league in scoring and rebounding in two different seasons and is the second to top the charts in rebounding three times.

Doubling The Fun
Jan. 31 against Butler, Milwaukee had two players tally double-doubles in Traci Edwards and sophomore Lindsay Laur. It marked the second time this season the Panthers had two players achieve the feat in the same game after Edwards and sophomore Jineen Williams did so at Wisconsin Dec. 2. While Edwards is the school-record holder in double-doubles in a season and career, double-doubles are becoming a regular thing for Laur. She now has four double-doubles this season, including three in the last seven games. As a team, the UWM boasts 14 double-doubles, including nine by Edwards and one by Williams. A Panther had posted a double-double in each of its last four games before Edwards (21 points, 8 rebounds, 7 blocks) and Laur (10 points, 9 rebounds) left last Saturday's game with Youngstown State at 5:41 and 4:55, repectively.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! (Or Afternoon)
After the Panthers' win over Youngstown State last Saturday, they boast a 7-2 record on Saturdays this season. Milwaukee has found more success on the day, shooting 40.4 percent from three-point range on Saturdays, compared to 31.7 percent the other six days of the week. That has translated to 6.8 three's per game vs. 5.1 in non-Saturday games. Also, the team is averaging 17.2 turnovers on Saturday and 23.7 other days, while averaging a +13.8 rebounding margin over the last four Saturdays. Junior Jodie McClain and sophomore Lindsay Laur are enjoying the day especially. McClain is averaging 11.1 points and is shooting 52.8 percent from three-point range, while Laur is averaging 9.0 points and 6.4 rebounds with three double-doubles.

Player Of The Week
Traci Edwards was named the Horizon League Player of the Week Feb. 2 for a league-record 10th time in her career and the third time this season. She averaged 23.0 points, 14.0 rebounds and 4.0 blocks in two games the week before. Against Valpo, she had 30 points, 16 boards and three blocks. Then, in UWM's win over second-place Butler, she had 16/12/5. She had previously earned the award this season Jan. 12 and Dec. 15. Her 10 awards surpassed the record she shared with Green Bay's Nicole Soulis (9).

Doing The Time
Traci Edwards checked out of the Jan. 4 game with just over one minute remaining in the game. When she "clocked out", she had seen game action for over 91-straight minutes. That stretch included the final 12-plus minutes of UWM's Dec. 22 game against Evansville, all 40 minutes at Marquette and the first 39 Jan. 4. The Marquette game was the first time she had every played every minute of a game, despite having played more minutes than any other player in school history. Jan. 31 against Butler, Edwards broke the school record for career minutes of 3,513, held by Daryl Schaffeld (1997-2000). Edwards has played 3,627 minutes in her career. Also, when she started the team's Feb. 5, she broke Jessica Wilhite's school record of 108 career games started. This Saturday's game will be the 116th of her career, breaking Maria Viall's games played record.

Witnessing History...
These days, the odds are that if you come to a UWM basketball game, you'll witness history. Traci Edwards has moved to the top of various scoring charts and now stands as Milwaukee's and the Horizon League's all-time leading scorer. She is also the only woman in school, league or state history with 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in her career. In fact, research has turned up only one man to the milestone in state history, while only two league men have done so. Edwards is also only one of three active Division I players to have reached the 2,000/1,000 milestone, while 114 players had done so entering 2008-09.

Timing Is Everything
Edwards became UWM's all-time leading scorer at Wisconsin Dec. 2, when she scored 30 points to give her 1,882 points for her career. That eclipsed the 1,867 scored by Maria Viall (2000-04). Edwards then hit 2,000 on the head at Youngstown State Jan. 8 with a 21-point effort. On the glass, she needed five boards for 1,000 heading into that game. She finished with eight, giving her both 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds for her career in the same game. Then, just two days later, it was a 23-point performance that slid Edwards past Butler's Julie VanDielingen (2,018) as the league's all-time leading scorer. She now has 2,165 career points.

Where She Stands
Edwards is the third-leading career active scorer in the nation, trailing only Oklahoma's Courtney Paris and Louisville's Angel McCoughtery. In state history, Edwards has ascended to third all-time and fifth if you include men's players. She could become the highest-scoring college basketball player in state history should she surpass Jolene Anderson's career total of 2,312, which she amassed from 2004-08 at Wisconsin.

Hitting The Freebies
Jan. 24 at Loyola, the Panthers tied an NCAA Division I record by going 26-for-26 from the free throw line. The record, which requires a minimum of 26 made, is also held by Kansas (31-31/Feb. 11, 1996), IUPUI (29-29/Jan. 20, 2001) and Chattanooga (26-26/Nov. 24, 1990). The Horizon League record for most free throws in a game without a miss was 16, while the school mark was 12.

Milwaukee knocked down a school-record 15 three-pointers against Detroit Jan. 17, besting its 14 made three's against Youngstown State Feb. 2, 2002. Jodie McClain led the charge with a career-best six made three-pointers, while sophomore Stephanie Schell knocked down three. McClain's six treys were the most by a Panther since Aubri Rote hit six in the 2007-08 season-opener and tied for sixth-most in school history. In all, six different players hit threes, while seven players accounted for UWM's 32 three-point attempts, which is second in school history. Also, the 15 made threes are tied for fifth-most in the nation so far this season.

The Panthers' previous season-best was 13 three-pointers against the Chippewas Dec. 20. UWM's 13 treys came on 25 attempts for a 52 percent clip, its best three point percentage with 10 made three's since Dec. 31, 2007. Last New Year's Eve, the team knocked down 12-of-23 (52.2 percent) vs. La Salle. This New Year's Eve was similar, as the Panthers were 9-of-18 (50 percent) from three-point range at Marquette.

With A Little Help From My Friends
A lost note in Milwaukee's three-point bonanza against Detroit was its 24 assists compared to just 12 turnovers. UWM's 2:1 assist to turnover ratio was its best since Jan. 27, 2007, when it also had 24 assists and 12 turnovers against Butler. Senior Markita Barnes finished with a career-high 10 assists in the game, while not turning over the ball once. She was the first Panther since March 9, 2007, to reach 10 assists in a game (Jody Crumble, 11), but is the first player in school history with 10-or-more assists and no turnovers. The previous low for turnovers in a 10-assist game was three by Crumble in the team's last 10-assist outing.

It's Not How You Start...
Four times in six games in the month of December, the Panthers fought back from tough deficits to bring an exciting conclusion to the games. Dec. 2 at Wisconsin, the Panthers overcame a 16-point deficit with just over 11 minutes remaining to take the lead in a game that eventually went into two overtimes. Then, Dec. 10, Milwaukee fought back from a 49-29 deficit to tie Illinois at 55-55 in the final minutes of regulation. UWM scored the final eight points of regulation to tie its game with Evansville and force overtime on Dec. 22, before dropping a one-point decision. Dec. 20, sophomore Maurika Hickman hit a lay-up at the buzzer to send the Panthers past Central Michigan, 78-77. It was the team's first game-winning shot in the final five seconds since Dec. 28, 2006, when Megan Rogers hit a three with 4.2 seconds remaining in regulation to give UWM a 73-72 win over Loyola. Then, Dec. 31, sophomore Ashley Imperiale made two free throws with 3.6 seconds left to win the game at Marquette. Milwaukee had trailed by 13 points in the first half of that contest.

Milwaukee had played three-straight one-point games before Jan. 4, four-straight games separated by two points or less and five of its last six games had been decided by one or two point. The streak of tight games is unprecedented in the program's history. In fact, in the team's Division I history dating back to the 1990-91 season, the only time UWM played back-to-back one or two-point games was Feb. 23 and March 1 of last season. There were three instances of consecutive such games in the 1980's, but the only time Milwaukee ever played three-straight one-point games before this season was Jan. 12-16, 1976.

The Panthers Know Drama
Milwaukee has provided some of the most dramatic television this season, as each of its first three TV games this season were far from boring. The team's first two TV games, which pitted UWM against Wisconsin and Illinois, featured the aforementioned theatrics and a combined three game-tying or winning baskets in the final eight seconds of regulation or overtime. Then, against Marquette, free throws with 3.6 seconds remaining proved to be the difference.

Home Sweet Home
Despite a 5-6 home mark this season, the Klotsche Center has been a difficult place for visiting teams to succeed. In 12-plus years under Sandy Botham, the Panthers are 111-55 at home. The Panthers went 9-7 at home last season and are just two seasons removed from a school-record 13-3 home campaign in 2005-06. In league play, those numbers are even better as Milwaukee boasts a 77-23 home record. That number has gotten a boost lately, as the Panthers have won 62 of their last 78 home league games over the last nine-plus seasons.

League Success
The Panthers are looking to continue a strong tradition of success in the Horizon League in 2008-09. Milwaukee has finished second-or-better in the league standings in eight of the last nine seasons and are 109-44 in league games since 1999-2000. UWM has won league titles in 2001 and 2006.

League Standings Since 1999-00 W L
Green Bay 140 13
Milwaukee 109 44
UIC 79 73
Butler 68 84
Wright State 68 84
Detroit 63 89
Cleveland State 62 90
Loyola 45 107
Youngstown State 36 88
Valparaiso 16 13

You Get To Records With Big Numbers
Traci Edwards picked up her first double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds against SIU Edwardsville Nov. 26. Though it took four games, you knew it wouldn't take too long for her to get her first of the season. She has added eight more since and now has 53 in her career, 17 more than any other player in school history. She also had three-straight 20-plus scoring efforts and has pushed her school-record total to 52 career 20-point games. She has also broken a school record with 108 double-digit scoring games in 115 career games played. Edwards now holds school record for 10-plus point games as well as 20-plus, 30-plus (9) and 40-plus (2) scoring games. Lastly, her latest double-double against Cleveland State gave her 56 double-digit rebounding games, another school record.

Botham Gets No. 200
Sandy Botham picked up her 200th coaching win with Milwaukee Nov. 29 at Northern Illinois. In 12-plus seasons at the helm of the Panther program, she has boasted a 207-161 record. The milestone is her latest, as she surpassed the 200-win mark for her career last season, while also becoming the winningest coach in league games in Horizon League history. Overall, Botham is 229-165 as a head coach.

Out Of The Lineup
UWM is nearing their full complement of players, as junior Danae Russell remains the lone missing player. She has been inactive the whole season with an injury and likely will not play this season.

All-Tournament Honors
Traci Edwards finished the season-opening Wolfpack Invitational averaging 19.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per game and was named to the all-tournament team. She was previously named the tournament MVP at the only other in-season tournament of her career, the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic in 2006.



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