UWM Starts Tourney Title Defense At Home
Meredith Onson

Meredith Onson

Game #30 • Wednesday, March 7, 2007 • 7 p.m.
#5 Wright State (10-17) @ #4 Milwaukee (14-15)

Klotsche Center (5,000) • Radio: AM 920 WOKY • TV: None
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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (March 6, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team begins the defense of its 2006 Horizon League Tournament crown Wednesday when it hosts Wright State in the quarterfinals of the 2007 league tournament. The Panthers and Raiders tip off at 7 p.m. with the winner advancing to the semifinals to take on the winner of top-seeded UW-Green Bay and #9 Detroit.

A Look At Wright State
The Raiders won their final three games of the regular season to claim the fifth seed in the tournament at 8-8. All-league second-team honoree Brittney Whiteside paces the team with 13.8 points, 5.7 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game. Five players average over 8.0 ppg, while Whitney Lewis is also in double-digits at 10.5 ppg.

Series History
Despite a loss in its last meeting with Wright State, Milwaukee still holds a commanding 19-10 all-time series advantage. UWM has won 16 of the last 18 games in the series and 10 of the last 11 at home. The two teams have met once in the tourney with the Panthers claiming a 58-34 win in the 2001 quarterfinals in Dayton. In that game, Milwaukee surrendered school-record lows of 34 points and 11 field goals made. Both records also stand as league records for lowest in a tournament game, as does the Raiders' 22.9 percent shooting percentage.

Last Time Out - Milwaukee 80, Loyola 66
Sophomore Traci Edwards scored 28 points, pulled down 10 rebounds and broke the school record for points in a season to lead the Panthers to an 80-66 win over Loyola last Saturday in Chicago. Junior Meredith Onson added 12 points as Milwaukee topped 80 points for the second-straight game.

Injury Report
Milwaukee has been fortunate this season with injuries, but none-the-less saw Traci Edwards go down with just under seven minutes remaining Saturday with a leg injury. She will likely be held out of the starting lineup Wednesday vs. Wright State, but will dress for the game and is listed as probable. Senior Kiley Johnson and freshman Angel Calloway remain sidelined with leg injuries of their own. Johnson did not dress for either game last week, while Calloway has not played since Dec. 2.

Another (Record) Bites The Dust
Prior to leaving the game, Edwards scored a game-high 28 points to push her season scoring total to 569 points. That figure broke the school record of 552 set by Jen Greger during the 1996-97 season. And, averaging 20.3 ppg, she is likely to break Greger's school record of 19.7 ppg that same season. Wright State's Tiffany Webb in 2002-03 is the last league player to average 20 points for an entire season.

Just A Few More Records
The list of records tied or broken by Edwards seems endless, as she tied three more lesser-known marks on Saturday. She reached double-digits in scoring for the 21st-straight game and 27th overall this season, as well as the 20-point mark for the 14th time. The 27 double-digit games this season ties the mark she set last season as a freshman.

I Love The 80's
UWM cracked 80 points in back-to-back games last week, marking the first time it's done so since January, 2002. The Panthers, who have three games of 80-or-more points, tied a school record with 59 points in the second half to score an 89-83 win at UIC. Then Saturday, they topped Loyola 80-66. As an aside, over the second half of Thursday's game and the first half of Saturday's game, Milwaukee scored 100 points over the 40 minutes of basketball on 65.3 percent shooting from the field (32-for-49), 58.8 percent from three-point range (10-for-17) and 83.9 percent from the free throw line (26-for-31).

First Team Repeat
Sophomore Traci Edwards was named to the All-Horizon League First Team Monday when the league announced its post-season awards. For Edwards it was a repeat selection after being the first freshman in school history to earn the honor last season. As a sophomore, she leads the league in scoring (20.3 ppg) by 3.3 ppg and rebounding (9.4 rpg) by 2.4 rpg.

One, Two... THREE
UWM hit 16 three's in two games last week, including a season-high 11 at UIC, pushing its season total to 183. That eclipsed the school record of 182 three's hit in 2003-04. The team is hitting three-pointers at a 34.2 percent clip, which is seventh-best in school history and its best percentage since the 1999-00 season (35.6%).

League Tourney History
The Panthers enter the 2007 Horizon League Tournament as the fourth seed and defending tournament champions. They are playing as their lowest seed since 1998-99, when they were the #5 seed. UWM, which also won the 2001 tourney, has a 9-10 all-time record in tournament play, including 4-2 at home. Milwaukee hosted quarterfinals in 2004 and 2005, semifinals in 2005 and all three of its tournament games last season. Incidentally, the only team to win the league tournament as neither the #1 or #2 seeds was Northern Illinois in 1995, the #4 seed.

Down, But Not Out
Milwaukee trailed UIC 41-23 with 3:25 to play in the first half last Thursday and came back to win, 89-83. It was the largest deficit overcome for UWM since overcoming a 64-46 deficit with 6:43 remaining against Butler Dec. 31, 2005, to take the lead in overtime. The deficit is also tied for the eighth-largest in a victory in NCAA Division I history. The largest deficits overcome (Courtesy 2006-07 NCAA Record Book):

32 - Texas St. trailed UTSA 40-8 with 2:18 remaining in first half (won 73-71 in OT), Feb. 18, 2006
22 - Oregon trailed Arizona 55-33 with 16:20 remaining in second half (won 75-71), March 4, 2000
21 - Louisiana Tech trailed Old Dominion with 14:03 remaining in second half (won 72-71), Feb. 9, 1989
20 - Florida trailed Alabama with 11:52 remaining in second half (won103-101 in OT), Jan. 4, 1992
20 - Southern Miss. trailed Mississippi Col., 36-16, in first half (won 71-70), Feb. 6, 1999
19 - Iowa trailed Indiana with 19:35 remaining in second half (won 81-76), March 2, 2001
19 - Fla. Atlantic trailed Stetson with 6:03 remaining in first half (won 77-64), Feb. 7, 2005
18 - Milwaukee trailed UIC with 3:25 remaining in first half (won 89-83), March 1, 2007
18 - Santa Clara trailed St. Mary's (Cal.) with 5:24 remaining in first half (won 87-84), March 1, 2002

Comeback Kids
Last Thursday's win at UIC was the fifth this season in which the Panthers overcame a halftime deficit to win, tying a school record. They previously had five such games in 2000-01. UWM trailed by 13 at the break, but outscored UIC 59-40 in the second half for the win.

2006-07 Comebacks From Halftime Deficits
Nov. 25 - SMU leads 24-22, UWM wins 53-47
Jan. 20 - Cleveland State leads 33-32, UWM wins 75-68
Jan. 25 - Wright State leads 35-31, UWM wins 75-65
Feb. 17 - Youngstown State leads 27-26, UWM wins 76-70
March 1 - UIC leads 43-30, UWM wins 89-83

Going For Two (Hundred)
Head coach Sandy Botham reached 200 career coaching wins with the Panthers' win at UIC last Thursday. She is currently second in school history with 179 wins at UWM and won 22 games in her only season at Beloit College. She entered the year just 13 shy of 200. A Botham team has failed win 13 games just once in her career.

C'mon, Everyone's Doing It
Senior Aubrey Hampton finished last Thursday's game at UIC with 15 points and junior Aubri Rote 14 off the bench. They were two of UWM's six players in double figures, the most double-digit scorers since the Panthers had six Feb. 12, 2000. The school record for double-digit scorers is seven (Jan. 31, 1991). Sophomore Traci Edwards scored a team-high 22, junior Meredith Onson added 13 and sophomores Jody Crumble (11 points) and Turquoise McCain (10) also got into the act. Hampton and Rote combined for Milwaukee's 20th and 21st double-digit performances off the bench this season and the fifth time two players did it in the same game (Loyola, Central Connecticut State, Drake and Miami).

Heck Of A Half
The Panthers shot 66.7 percent from the field, 61.5 on three-pointers and were 15-of-19 from the free throw line in the second half against UIC to tie a school record with 59 points in the half. Milwaukee previously scored 59 points in a half Jan. 19, 2002 vs. Detroit. Also, in its previous meeting with the Flames, the team scored 57 points after halftime, which at the time was the second-highest scoring half.

Back In Control
Over her last five games, Aubrey Hampton is 11-for-17 from three-point range, including her 4-for-4 effort last Thursday. The stretch has gotten her back on track this season after a brief dry spell from the land of three's. She remains second in the league at 44.8 percent on three-pointers and finished first in the league in league-only games at 49.2 percent. She is also ahead of the school record of 44.1 percent by Tracey Freund in 1990-91. She has also pushed her season total of three's made to 52 and career total to 118. Hampton sits just seven back of the fifth-most made in a season and Jen Greger (125) for fourth-most in a career. She is also four 3's made shy of qualifying for the national leaderboards in percentage (min. two 3's made per game), where she would be tied for fifth.

Well, If You're Just Giving Them To Me...
UWM went 24-for-29 (82.8%) from the free throw line last Thursday at UIC, the second-most free throws made and attempted this season. Both season highs were set in the first Panther/Flame showdown Dec. 30, when Milwaukee went 29-of-35 (82.9%). Meanwhile, Traci Edwards was 14-of-16 from the line. Her makes are third in school history for a game and attempts are tied for fourth in a game in school history. She has reached 16 free throw attempts in a game three times this season, converting at least 12 in each game.

Getting Better
Edwards leads the team in free throw shooting and sits sixth in the league at 79.7 percent. Last season, the 6-foot-2 center hit on just 62.4 percent of her 218 free throw attempts for a 17.5 percent improvement from the line. Eight times in Milwaukee's Division I history has a player attempted at least 50 free throws in back-to-back seasons and improved by over 10 percent. The biggest improvement has been 16.3 percent by Trina Rathke from 1996-97 (56.1%) to 1997-98 (72.4%). Edwards has used her new-found proficiency from the free throw line to set a school record with 161 free throws made and a league record with 112 free throws made in league play, both despite 16 less attempts. She has also made more free throws than anyone in the league, except Butler's Lade Akande (161 att.), has even attempted, and is 12th in the nation with 5.75 FT made per game.

Simply Grand
Traci Edwards scored her 1,000th career point Feb. 22, doing so in her 56th career game. She entered the night with 989 and eclipsed the milestone with a layup at the 8:47 mark of the second half. She finished with 19 points and now has 1,069 points in her career entering the league tournament. The 56 games it took Edwards to reach the mark is faster than any player in school history, tied for the fastest in league history and is tied for the 64th-fastest in NCAA Division I history. (For more notes on Edwards' 1,000th point, see page eight.)

Woman On Fire
Against Cleveland State Jan. 20, Edwards poured in a school-record 42 points, setting school records with 17 field goals made and 33 attempts and tying another school mark with six blocks. Her 42 points are also tied for the third-most in NCAA Division I this season. As an encore, she tallied 30 points at Wright State Jan. 25 before scoring 22 and 24 in her next two games. She then netted her third 30-point outing in five games with 31 against UW-Green Bay Feb. 13. Over her last 17 games, she has averaged 22.9 points, 9.9 rebounds and 1.82 blocks per game. She also has eight of her league-leading 12 double-doubles in that span, including a 28-point, 20-rebound performance against UIC Dec. 30. This season, she has eclipsed 20 points a league-best 14 times, giving her 24 for her career, while she has now reached double digits in 54 of 59 career games.

More Perspective
With 31 points vs. UW-Green Bay Feb. 10, Edwards put together three 30-point games this season, all within a five-game span. That stands as a school single-season record for 30-point games, while it was her fifth-straight game of 20-plus points, tying another school record. That streak came to an end when she had 16 at Cleveland State Feb. 15. In fact, when she followed up her school-record 42-point outing with 30 at Wright State, she was the first player to post back-to-back 30-point games in school history. Edwards is averaging 24.2 points over the last 11 games.

It All Adds Up
With her torrid pace, Edwards has settled atop the league in scoring at a pace of 20.3 ppg. She also leads the league in rebounding (9.4 rpg) and is second in blocked shots (1.56 bpg) and field goal percentage (58.0%). In fact, she ended the regular season leading the league in scoring by 3.3 points per game and rebounding by 2.4 rpg. She is likely to become the first Panther to lead the league in scoring since 2003-04 (Maria Viall) and the third overall (Jen Greger 1996-97). Should she remain atop the league in rebounding, she would be the first Panther ever to lead the league in a category in back-to-back seasons after leading the league as a freshman last season.

If that wasn't enough...
Her scoring figure sits 13th in the nation and third among underclassmen. Edwards is also 11th in the country in field goal percentage and 40th in rebounding. Last season, she finished 10th nationally with a school-record 59.9 shooting clip.

Exclusive Company
Before joining the 1,000-point club, Traci Edwards joined another select group Jan. 27 in becoming the 19th member of Milwaukee's 500-rebound club. She finished with six boards, giving her exactly 500 rebounds after just 51 career games. She reached the milestone 10 games faster than any player in the school's Division I history and tied all-time leading rebounder Jaci Clark's pace. She is just the eighth player in school history with 1,000 points and 500 rebounds in their career, including just the second in the team's Division I history (Maria Viall, 2000-04).

League Honors
During her current hot streak, Edwards has garnered a pair of Horizon League Player of the Week awards, giving her three this season. She last earned the honor Jan. 22nd after her school-record scoring outing. Prior to that, she was named player of the week Jan. 2 after her 28-point/20-rebound performance against UIC and Nov. 27 after being named MVP at the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic. She has now earned the honor five times in her career.

Sophomore Success
The Panthers' sophomore class has provided the team with much of its fire power this season. Led by Traci Edwards, the class has combined to average 39.8 points and 22.4 rebounds per game. Those figures account for 60.7 percent of the team's scoring and 61.8 percent of its rebounding. In fact, the class accounted for 239 of UWM's 315 points and 154 of its 197 rebounds over five games from Feb. 1-22.

Perfection
Milwaukee went a perfect 12-for-12 from the free throw line against La Salle Dec. 23, setting a school record for free throw percentage. The performance topped the 95.7 percent (22-for-23) UWM shot against Chicago State March 2, 1992. It marked the first time the Panthers had been perfect from the line when attempting at least 10 charity tosses. Then, on a smaller scale, UWM was a perfect 5-for-5 from the line vs. Wright State Feb. 24. Overall, Milwaukee has had four outings of better than 90 percent free throw shooting this season, following games at Wisconsin (17-for-18, 94.4%) and at Drake (11-of-12, 91.7%).

League Success
With the close of the league season, the Panthers appear to have continued a strong tradition of success in the Horizon League for yet another season. Though Milwaukee had finished second-or-better in the league standings in each of the last seven seasons prior to this season, the Panthers are still 93-30 since 1999-2000 and have won league titles in 2001 and 2006.

Home Sweet Home
The Panthers finished their regular season home schedule with a 7-5 record. While not as good a record as 2005-06 (13-3), the Klotsche Center remains a difficult place for visiting teams to succeed. In 10-plus years under Sandy Botham, the Panthers are 96-42 at home. In league play, Milwaukee boasts a 68-16 home record. That number has gotten even better recently, as the Panthers have won 53 of their last 62 home league games over the last eight seasons. UWM has also posted three perfect home league years, going 8-0 in 2003-04 and 7-0 in both 1999-2000 and 2000-01.

Staying In The Game
Junior Aubri Rote became just the third Panther to foul out of a game this season when she accrued five fouls at Loyola Saturday. When junior Dana Schultz was the team's first disqualification of the season against Youngstown State Jan. 16, it was Milwaukee's first since Jan. 26, 2006, at Wright State, capping a span of 30 games without a player DQ. Milwaukee is second in the league in fewest DQ's, while opponents have fouled out 15 times against the Panthers this season. Last season, just two UWM players fouled out, setting a school record for fewest in a season.

Stifling Defense
The Panthers' defense was on display against Youngstown State Jan. 18. Milwaukee allowed Youngstown State to shoot just 22.6 percent from the field, the second-lowest field goal percentage by an opponent in school history. Northeastern Illinois only hit 22.4 percent of its field goal attempts Feb. 13, 1993.

More Defensive History
The Penguins were held to 44 points, marking the fewest points Milwaukee allowed since Feb. 18, 2006, also at home against YSU. The total is tied for the sixth-fewest points UWM has allowed. Meanwhile, Youngstown reached that total with just 14 made field goals, tied for fourth-fewest the Panthers have ever allowed.

Tourney Time
UWM won the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic Nov. 24-25, its first in-season tournament title since winning tourneys at both Minnesota and Hofstra during the 1997-98 season. The Panthers have always had success at in-season tournaments, posting an 18-10 record under Sandy Botham and a 19-13 record in the team's Division I history. Milwaukee has also won at least one game at all 14 tourneys under Botham and at 15-of-16 all-time.

Leading The Way
Following the tournament, a pair of sophomore post players were named to the SMU Hoops for the Cure Classic All-Tournament team. Traci Edwards was named MVP after averaging 15.0 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks. Katie Fournier averaged seven points and eight boards and joined her on the five-player squad.

Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
Against SMU, Milwaukee committed just eight fouls and did not allow the Mustangs a single trip to the free throw line. That marked the first time an opponent did not attempt a free throw in school history. Meanwhile, the last opponent not to make a free throw was Feb. 16 of last season against Detroit, when the Titans went 0-for-3 from the line.

On The Air
UWM has a new radio home for the 2006-07 season, as 15 games this season are being carried live on 920 AM WOKY in Milwaukee. Both the Panther men and women will now be carried live on the same station, while all Milwaukee basketball games will air live on uwmpanthers.com. Scott Warras is calling all the action in his first season as UWM's play-by-play announcer.

TV Time
The Panthers have made five appearances on TV this season, including twice on national TV. As part of UWM's local package with WMLW, its home games Dec. 7 against Air Force and Feb. 1 game vs. Detroit were shown locally, while its game at Detroit was broadcast live in Detroit. UWM made its television debut Nov. 20 at Wisconsin on Fox Sports North. The team's Jan. 13 game at UW-Green Bay was then televised on ESPNU as part of an agreement between the Horizon League and the ESPN family of networks. It is the only women's regular season game to appear on an ESPN channel this season, while the league title game will also be shown on ESPNU.

Quick Notes
UWM's win last Thursday snapped UIC's 11-game winning streak ... The Panthers ended the regular season with a 7-2 record on Thursdays ... Jody Crumble was the 11th different player for UWM to score 10 points in a game this season when she scored 11 at Youngstown State Feb. 17 ... Traci Edwards has led the team, or tied for the team lead, in scoring in each of the last 21 games she has played ... With 11 rebounds Feb. 22, Katie Fournier ended Edwards' 16-game streak of team-high rebounding games ... The Panthers dropped consecutive league games twice this season after not doing it once since the 1998-99 season ... The Panthers added a transfer after the first semester in freshman Lindsay Laur. A Roseville, Minn., native, Laur attended Colorado State in the fall semester out of Cretin Derham High School. She will be eligible to compete for UWM following the first semester of next season.

Up Next
Milwaukee looks to advance to the semifinals Friday, where it will take on the winner of top-seeded UW-Green Bay and #9 Detroit.

 

 

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