Panthers Close Out Regular Season On The Road
Lindsay Laur

Lindsay Laur

Game #27 • Feb. 26, 2009 • 4 p.m.
Milwaukee (12-14, 7-8) @ Butler (16-9, 11-3)

Hinkle Fieldhouse (10,000) • Indianapolis, Ind.
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Feb. 24, 2009) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team hits the road to close out its 2008-09 regular season, kicking off a three-game road trip at Butler Thursday. The Panthers and Bulldogs tip off at 4 p.m. central time in Indianapolis, Ind.

How's It Going?
Milwaukee's up and down stretch of games has reached 12-straight contests alternating wins and losses. The Panthers, who fell to Loyola last Thursday, rebounded with a 70-49 win over UIC Saturday. UWM remains tied with Wright State for sixth place in the league standings at 7-8, but has pulled within a half game of UIC (7-7) for fifth place.

Up Next
The Panthers swing by Valparaiso Saturday to take on the Crusaders before returning home. The game is slated for a 1:35 tip.

About The Bulldogs
Butler clings to second place in the Horizon League at 11-3 following a setback at Valparaiso last Saturday. The Bulldogs have been shutting down opposing offenses, conceding just 55.5 points per game. The offense is paced by three players in double-figures. Lade Akande leads the team at 11.1 points to go with 6.0 rebounds per game. Melanie Thornton is averaging 10.5 points and a team-best 7.6 rebounds per contest, while Brittany Bowen is averaging 10.2 points.

Series History
Milwaukee leads the all-time series with Butler, 17-14 after a 63-58 win over the Bulldogs in Milwaukee last month. The Panthers have won six of their last eight games at Hinkle Fieldhouse, including a 65-50 victory last season.

Jostling For Position
After sitting seventh in the league standings for much of the season, the Panthers jumped into a tie for sixth when they defeated Wright State Feb. 14. Milwaukee and WSU are among four teams seperated by just 1.5 games from fourth to seventh places. UWM beat UIC Saturday to pull itself and WSU within a half game of the Flames in fifth (7-7). The Panthers then take on Valparaiso Saturday. Valpo is one and a half games ahead of Milwaukee in fourth (8-7).

Last Time Out: Milwaukee 70, UIC 49
The Panthers put four player in double-figures and held UIC to 25.8 percent shooting from the field in rolling to a 70-49 victory on Senior Day, last Saturday at the Klotsche Center. UWM never trailed and led by as many as 24 in running past the Flames. Three seniors reached double-figures in scoring, with Turquoise McCain scoring 14 points, Traci Edwards 11 and Markita Barnes a career-high 10. Sophomore Lindsay Laur led the scoring attack with 15 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Senior Send-Off
Milwaukee bid farewell to its largest senior class in team history last Saturday in a pre-game ceremony. All five seniors got the start and led the team to victory. Of the five, three scored in double-figures, including a career-best 10 points from Markita Barnes, while Traci Edwards and Turquoise McCain combined on four blocks and eight steals. The team improved to 10-3 in Senior Day games under Sandy Botham.

Everybody Getting Involved
Markita Barnes became the 11th Panther this season to score in double-figures when she scored a UWM career-best 10 against UIC.

You Win Some, You Lose Some
The Panthers' current streak of 12-straight games alternating wins and losses is 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.

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night! (Or Afternoon)
After the Panthers' win at UIC Saturday, they boast an 9-2 record on Saturdays this season, with a five-game winning streak. Milwaukee has found more success on the day, shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 38.8 percent on three's on Saturdays, compared to 40.1 and 31.3 percent the other six days of the week. The team is also averaging just 17.0 turnovers on Saturday and 23.3 other days, while its +5.1 Saturday rebounding margin is just +2.9 every other day. Junior Jodie McClain and sophomore Lindsay Laur are enjoying the day especially. McClain is averaging 10.1 points, while Laur is averaging 9.6 points and 6.5 rebounds with three double-doubles.

30-Something
Traci Edwards posted her 10th career 30-point game Feb. 19 and her third of the season. No other player in school history has more than three in their career. This was her first 30-point game in a non-starting role, while the Panthers have had just one non-starter crack 30 points when Andrea Filipek scored a then-school record 38 at Green Bay Jan. 23, 1999.

Keys To Winning
Milwaukee had four players reach double-figures on Saturday and finished with 70 points. Those two figures, as you can imagine, have added up to a victory for the team this season. The Panthers are 8-0 when four or more players score at least 10 points, while going 11-2 when three players do. UWM also pushed its record to 9-0 this season when scoring at least 70 points after going 10-2 in such games last season.

M.I.A.
Sophomores Jineen Williams and Maurika Hickman have been suspended from the team indefinitely for violation of team rules. The Panthers were down four players in their last game with senior Katie Fournier sitting out after being hit in the head during practice. She is day-to-day, while junior Danae Russell will likely miss the entire season with an injury of her own. She has yet to dress for UWM this season.

Pacing The Field
Traci Edwards' 30-point, 14-rebound effort Feb. 21 did wonders for her bid to lead the league in a number of familiar categories, including scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and blocks. Edwards now leads scoring by 0.7 points over second place (18.2-17.5) and holds a slight 0.019 advantage in rebounding. 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.

Welcome To The Block Party
Over a four-game stretch ending Feb. 5 against Youngstown State, Traci Edwards feasted on opponent's shots to the tune of 19 blocked shots. Her 19 blocks are eight more than any Panther had ever had in a four-game span, while she capped the stretch with a school-record seven blocks against Youngstown State Feb. 7. The streak also included a five-block game, one with four and another with three. She now has 39 blocked shots this season, which are second in the league.

Doubling The Fun
Jan. 31 against Butler, UWM 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. As a team, the UWM boasts 15 double-doubles, including 10 by Edwards and one by Williams. A Panther also had a streak of four-straight games with a player posted a double-double (Jan. 24-Feb. 5).

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).

Keep Shooting...
Traci Edwards missed her first two field goal attempts against Wright State Feb. 14, but proceeded to make her next 10 attempts. She finished 10-for-12 from the field, with her 83.3 percent tying the third-best single-game performance in school history. She led the Panthers to one of their best shooting performances of the season. As a team, UWM shot a season-best 55.8 percent from the field, its second game shooting over 50 percent this season.

Doing The Time
Traci Edwards has broken a copious amount of school records in her career. She has played more basketball in a Panther uniform than any other player in the team's Division I history. In recent games, she has broken school records for minutes played (3,731), games played (118) and games started (113).

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 was also the first 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 Megan Scheele of Edgewood joined the club Feb. 12. Edwards is also only one of four active Division I players to have reached the 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 2,228 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.

15x3=Record
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.

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.

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 nine more since and now has 54 in her career, 18 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 54 career 20-point games. She has also broken a school record with 111 double-digit scoring games in 118 career games played. Edwards now holds school record for 10-plus point games as well as 20-plus, 30-plus (10) and 40-plus (2) scoring games. Lastly, her latest double-double against Loyola gave her 57 double-digit rebounding games, another school record.

Heart-Stoppers
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.

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 111-45 in league games since 1999-2000. UWM has won league titles in 2001 and 2006.

League Standings Since 1999-00 W L
Green Bay 143 13
Milwaukee 111 45
UIC 80 75
Butler 69 85
Wright State 69 86
Cleveland State 65 90
Detroit 64 91
Loyola 46 109
Youngstown State 36 91
Valparaiso 17 14

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 209-162 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 231-166 as a head coach.

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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