Women's Basketball Announces Complete 2012-13 Schedule
Sept. 5, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Games against 10 teams that competed in the postseason a year ago and a trip to the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico highlight a challenging 2012-13 schedule for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team, announced today by head coach Kyle Rechlicz.
The Panthers will take on seven non-conference teams that played in postseason tournaments in 2012, including three NCAA Tournament teams. In addition, UWM will play 11 home contests and take on seven different squads that won at least 20 games a season ago.
"We are really excited for the challenge," Rechlicz said. "It's a great schedule to show us where we are at before we head into conference play. With all of the teams that were in the postseason last year, it will show our players the level that we need to play at in order to be a postseason team as well. And, by the time we hit league play, we will be prepared."
Milwaukee will make trips to Illinois State Nov. 29 (WNIT; 19-13 record in 2011-12), Michigan State Dec. 1 (NCAA; 20-12), Toledo Dec. 8 (WNIT; 24-10) and DePaul Dec. 11 (NCAA; 23-11). The Panthers will also play host to Bradley Dec. 4 (WBI; 19-16) and Drake Dec. 29 (WNIT; 20-16) at the Klotsche Center.
The team will head to the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico for the Thanksgiving holiday and play two games at the Mario Morales Coliseum, including one against a Georgia Tech team that made it to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
"I think it will be a great experience and an incredible challenge," Rechlicz said. "Our goal as a team will be to compete in both games and also to relax and have some fun off the court."
In addition to the non-conference challenge the Panthers will face, three Horizon League schools are coming off postseason trips as well in NCAA-qualifier Green Bay (31-2 a year ago), a Detroit squad (20-14) that played in the WNIT and a Wright State team (21-13) that made it to the second round of the WBI.
The season opener - and Rechlicz's UWM coaching debut - sees the Panthers open the campaign at Chicago State Nov. 9.
Another rivalry comes next, as Milwaukee heads to Wisconsin to play the Badgers Nov. 11. It will be a homecoming for Rechlicz, who coached at UW a season ago and also played for the Badgers.
"It's going to be a great and memorable opportunity for me, but I am really trying to focus on the team," Rechlicz said. "It won't be about me, or Coach Banks who also played at Wisconsin, it's about the 15 young women we will have competing on the floor. I can't say that I am not looking forward to coming into the Kohl Center and shaking Coach Kelsey's and the rest of her staff's hands at the beginning of the game. I am very close friends with all of them and we joke around about it. It will be a fun and exciting atmosphere for our team and it will be nice to see some familiar faces. However, we are going down there to compete and are looking forward to the challenge of taking on a Big Ten school right off the bat."
The San Juan Shootout has a very competitive field, including the likes of Georgia Tech, Virginia, Vanderbilt, Syracuse and Florida State. The Panthers will get their first test against the Yellow Jackets in their opener and round out the trip against Eastern Kentucky.
Horizon League play opens up in January, with Milwaukee taking on Wright State Jan. 10. A week later, it's a weekend trip to Youngstown State Jan. 17 and Cleveland State Jan. 19.
The Panthers close out January at home with Valparaiso Jan. 24 and Loyola Jan. 31and remain there to start February, welcoming Detroit Feb. 2.
Following a trip to Chicago to take on UIC Feb. 7, Milwaukee heads back to Green Bay to take on the Phoenix at the Kress Center Feb. 9. The contest, which sold out before the game started last season, sees UWM face a Green Bay squad that posted an amazing 31-2 record a year ago.
"Green Bay will be very competitive," Rechlicz said. "Kevin Borseth is an all-out competitor and I know he will have his team prepared. I think Detroit has proven to be a top team the past few years and everyone else is not far behind. It will be competitive game-in and game-out and I don't think there will be as big of a difference from top to bottom. And, finding our place somewhere near the top is our goal."
Home games against YSU Feb. 14 and CSU Feb. 16 get the Panthers back to Milwaukee, before taking to the road for four consecutive games to close out the month and open March. They will play at Valparaiso Feb. 21, WSU Feb. 23, Loyola Feb. 28 and open the final month of the regular season at Detroit March 2.
A pair of home games then closes out the regular season, welcoming the Flames March 7 and finishing up the slate against the Phoenix March 9.