Milwaukee @ Illinois
Sunday, Nov. 11 5 p.m.
Champaign, Ill. (Assembly Hall/16,618)
Radio: WOKY - 920 AM (Scott Warras)
uwmpanthers.com: Live Stats, Video, Audio
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Nov. 10, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team heads to Champaign, Ill., Sunday in search of its first 2-0 start since 2001-02 when it takes on the University of Illinois. Tip off between the Panthers and Illini is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Milwaukee opened its season with an 88-76 win over Chicago State Friday, its first win in a home opener since 2001-02 ... the Panthers' 88 points are a school record for a season opener ... Traci Edwards was the first player in school history with 30 points in the first game of the season ... Aubri Rote added a career-high 20 points giving Milwaukee a 30-point scorer and 20-point scorer in the same game for the first time ever ... it was also the team's first game with two 20-point scorers since 2006 ... UWM went 2-0 in the exhibition season for the second-straight season ... the Panthers were picked to win the Horizon League in the league's preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media members ... Traci Edwards was named the Preseason Player of the Year.
The Panthers play just two games in the 17 days after Sunday. They have an eight-game lay-off before returning to action Monday, Nov. 19, at home against Dayton, before hosting Miami (Fla.) Nov. 28.
A Look At The Illini
Illinois got its season off to a good start Friday with a decisive 86-56 win at Western Illinois. The Illini returns all five starters from last season's WNIT team that won 19 games. Leading scorer Lori Bjork poured in a team-best 22 points while Jenna Smith had a monster game with 16 points and 19 rebounds. UI is led by first-year head coach Jolette Law.
UWM and Illinois have never faced. But, the Panthers are familiar with the Big Ten, posting a 5-24 record against teams from the conference. Milwaukee is also 71-33 all-time against Division I teams from the state of Illinois.
Last Time Out: Milwaukee 88, Chicago State 76
Junior Traci Edwards scored a game-high 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team to an 88-76 victory over Chicago State Friday night. The Panthers led by 21 with just over two minutes to play before emptying the bench to open the 2007-08 season with a win.
Notes From Friday
Friday's game was the first event ever at the Jones Convocation Center ... Jineen Williams scored 13 point and was the first Panther freshman to score in double figures in a season opener since Turquoise McCain had 14 in the first game of the 2005-06 season ... Traci Edwards moved up to 10th in school history in career points with 1,145 and is now seven back of ninth and eight of eighth.
Getting Off On The Right Foot
Milwaukee is off to its first 1-0 start since 2001-02. More impressive is the manner in which it got to that start. The Panthers scored 88 points at Chicago State, a school record for points in a season opener. The previous Division I record had been 77 points by the 1995-96 team while the all-division record had been 84 points by the 1982-83 team.
Part of UWM's offensive success was the efforts of Traci Edwards and Aubri Rote. Edwards scored led the way with 30 points and Rote added a career-best 20. It was the first time since Feb. 11, 2006, that two players topped 20 points for the Panthers. In that game, Edwards scored 23 and Nichole Drummond added 22. It was also the first time that Milwaukee had a 30-point scorer and 20-point scorer in the same game.
Keeping It Going
Traci Edwards' 30 point game was significant for a number of reasons. First, it was a school record for points in a season opener. It was also her fifth-straight 20-point game dating back to last season, tying a school record she already shared. It also extended her school record for consecutive games in double figures to 23. Lastly, it was the fourth 30-point outing of Edwards' career, another school record.
Making It Rain
Aubri Rote's night was also impressive in that she knocked down 6-of-7 three-point attempts. Not only is her six 3's tied for the sixth-most in a single game in school history, her 85.7% three-point clip is the fourth-best. Rote was also the first Panther other than Traci Edwards to score 20 points in a game since Nichole Drummond had 23 Feb. 13, 2006.
Notes From The Exhibtion Season
Milwaukee posted a 2-0 record in a pair of exhibition games last week ... UWM scored a 102-25 win over Beloit Nov. 2 before a 76-47 against Wisconsin AAU two days later ... the Panthers allowed its two exhibtion opponents to shoot a combined 25.7% ... the team's 102 points against Beloit were its most in an exhibition game, tying its 102-57 win over LKKA-Kaunas during the 2001 exhibition slate ... Milwaukee's 77-point margin of victory is also a record, eclipsing that game as well ... the Panthers are now 5-0 against college teams in exhibition play.
Panthers Pace Pack In Poll
The Panthers were picked to win the 2007-08 Horizon League regular season title in the league's annual preseason poll. Milwaukee, who last topped the poll in 2001-02, received 13 first-place votes and 253 total point to edge last year's regular season and tourney champ Green Bay with nine first-place nods and 244 points. Butler, in third with 238 points, also received five first-place votes, while UIC received the last one and was picked fourth (178 points). Voting was conducted among the league's coaches, SIDs and media members.
Two days after the release of the preseason poll, the league office announced its preseason all-league teams and junior Traci Edwards topped the list. She was named the Preseason Player of the Year with a near-unanimous 267 points. An all-league first-teamer as a freshman and sophomore, Edwards was player of the year on 24 ballots and listed second on the three others.
Getting The Worm... Now Three In A Row
For the third-consecutive season, the Panthers kicked off their regular season earlier than any previous year. This time, the season-opener at Chicago State was Nov. 9. Last season, the first regular season game was Nov. 10 at South Florida and it was Nov. 11 at Oklahoma the year before. The early start is due to the NCAA changing the day teams can start their seasons.
Back In Black & Gold
Head coach Sandy Botham returns nine letterwinners overall from last season, including an experienced core of four starters. Junior center Traci Edwards leads the way, coming off her second-straight all-league first team season in which she set school records for points and points per game. Guard Meredith Onson, one of two seniors on the team, also returns after finishing second on the team in scoring and three-pointers. Juniors Katie Fournier and Turquoise McCain round out the starters after starting a combined 47 games last season. Additionally, junior point guard Jody Crumble will start her second season in Milwaukee after transfering from Jackson State. She started the final 10 games of the season after becoming eligible to play in the second semester last season.
Welcome To Milwaukee
With seven upperclassmen returning, the Panthers will have an experienced base to work from. But, that didn't stop the coaching staff from bringing in a strong class of freshmen and a junior college transfer. A two-time NJCAA All-American at Illinois Valley Community College, Markita Barnes adds to an already outstanding junior class. Incoming freshmen Maurika Hickman, Jenilee Klomstead, Stephanie Schell and Jineen Williams were also signed to National Letters of Intent in the off-season. Plus, UWM will benefit from the eligibility of freshman transfer Lindsay Laur. Laur transferred from Colorado State between semesters last season and was ruled eligible for the start of the season.
Milwaukee opened the season with a win at Chicago State and now has 492 wins in the program's history. The team now needs just eight wins to reach the 500 mark. With their 10th win this season, the Panthers will also reach 250 wins at the Division I level. The program is 492-418 (.541) all-time, including 241-236 (.506) since moving to Division I in 1990.
As just a sophomore last season, Traci Edwards eclipsed the 1,000-point and 500-rebound marks. She reached both milestones faster than any other player in school history while putting herself in select company for each. Should she reach 500 points and 250 rebounds for the third-straight season, she would find herself in even more exclusive of company. Those figures would put her at 1,615 points and 843 rebounds, totals just three players have reached. She would also be third in the school's all-division history in both categories and in striking distance of all-time leading scorer Maria Viall (1,867) and Viall's Division I career rebounding mark (971).
Two numbers to keep an eye on for Sandy Botham are 20 and seven. If the Panthers can post their third 20-win season under Botham, the 12th-year head coach would reach 200 coaching wins at UWM. Last season, she slipped by the 200-win mark for her career and now has 203. Also, seven league wins would tie the Horizon League record for most league coaching wins. She currently has 118 league wins, an average of 10.1 league wins per season. The record is 125 by Kevin Borseth, who left Green Bay in the off-season to become head coach at Michigan.
Lining Up The 2007-08 Schedule
As has been the tradition at Milwaukee, head coach Sandy Botham and her staff has lined up a stiff non-league schedule. The Panthers will prepare for the league season against two Big Ten teams, one from the Big East and two more from the Atlantic 10. Highlighting the early portion of the slate will be Sunday's trip to Illinois, a home date with Miami Nov. 28. The Panthers will also make a trip to Madison to take on Wisconsin Dec. 4. The Illini advanced to the third round of the WNIT last season, while the Badgers played their way to WNIT Championship game before falling to Wyoming.
The Panthers are looking to continue a strong tradition of success in the Horizon League in 2007-08. Milwaukee has finished second-or-better in the league standings in seven of the last eight seasons and are 93-30 in league games since 1999-2000. UWM has won league titles in 2001 and 2006.
League Standings Since 1999-2000
Green Bay 111 12
Milwaukee 93 30
UIC 67 56
Detroit 57 66
Wright State 52 72
Butler 49 74
Cleveland State 44 79
Loyola 39 84
Youngstown State 28 67
Home Sweet Home
The Klotsche Center remains a difficult place for visiting teams to succeed. In 10-plus years under Sandy Botham, the Panthers are 97-42 at home. The Panthers went 8-5 at home last season after a school-record 13-3 home campaign in 2005-06. In league play, those numbers are even better as Milwaukee boasts a 68-16 home record. That number has gotten a boost lately, 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.
Kicking It Up A Notch
All 29 Panther games will be carried live in the Milwaukee area on the radio, marking the most extensive radio package in the program's history. WOKY is in its second season as the radio home for UWM women's basketball after carrying half of the team's schedule last season. The station will also be the home of the Sandy Botham Radio Show, while both the show and every game will be available live at uwmpanthers.com.
Lights, Camera, Action
Also stepped up this season is the number of times Milwaukee will play on television. The Panthers will be televised live eight times this season after just three games were televised live last season. All eight will be televised live on Time Warner Sports Channel 32 in Milwaukee. Fans can also re-live the excitement, as each game will be replayed on TWS and available on Wisconsin On Demand Channel 1111. In addition, all league home games will also be available on Wisconsin On Demand. Also, the Horizon League title game will also be televised on ESPNU. Every league game, home or road, with also be available via webcast on the Horizon League Network.