Drake @ Milwaukee
Thursday, Dec. 13 7 p.m.
Milwaukee, Wis. (Klotsche Center/5,000)
Radio: WOKY - 920 AM (Scott Warras)
TV: Time Warner Sports (Bob Brainerd/Jason Clark)
uwmpanthers.com: Live Stats, Audio, Video
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Dec. 12, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team kicks off a year-ending four game homestand when it hosts Drake Thursday at the Klotsche Center. The Panthers end the year at home before opening 2008 on the road in their first league games of the season.
Milwaukee picked up a 79-64 win at Central Michigan in its last time out on Saturday ... Drake is coming off a 58-51 loss to in-state rival Iowa State Sunday ... UWM is returning home after a three-game road trip and for just its third home game of the season ... both the Panthers and Bulldogs were picked to win their respective leagues in preseason polls of league coaches, SIDs and media members ... Traci Edwards was named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year.
The Panthers have a week off before hosting North Dakota State next Thursday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m.
Looking At Drake
Drake is coming off an NCAA Tournament season a year ago after winning the MVC Tournament as the eighth seed. This season, the Bulldogs were picked to win the conference and are off to a 5-4 start. Jill Martin has been dominating for Drake in her second attempt at a senior year. She redshirted after five games last season with an injury and has rebounded to average 18.2 points and 8.1 rebounds per game this season. Lindsay Whorton is chipping in 14.8 points of her own.
The Panthers are in search of its first win over Drake, having lost their first three meetings. Last season, both teams led by as many as 13, but the Bulldogs scored the final six points of the game to claim a 75-72 win in Des Moines. Traci Edwards had a then-career-high 29 points to lead UWM.
Last Time Out: Milwaukee 79, Central Michigan 64
Traci Edwards scored 22 points on 9-of-9 shooting from the field to lead Milwaukee to a 79-64 win over Central Michigan Saturday afternoon in Mt. Pleasant, Mich. The Panthers shot 50 percent for the game to overcome 27 turnovers and roll past the Chippewas. Edwards did her damage in just 23 minutes and was one of three players in double figures. Aubri Rote and Jineen Williams added 10 points apiece.
Notes From Central Michigan
Milwaukee hit 16-of-17 (94.1 percent) free throws, the sixth-best single-game performance in school history ... Meredith Onson hit a three-pointer and now has 72 in her career, tied for eighth in school history ... Aubri Rote scored in double figures for the fourth-straight game ... CMU had 21 steals, the most by a Panther opponent since DePaul had 25 steals Nov. 21, 2003.
Shooting With Efficiency
The Panthers had their best shooting game of the season at Central Michigan, hitting on 50 percent of their shots from the field, 56.3 percent of three pointers and 16-of-17 from the free throw line. It was Milwaukee's first 50 percent shooting effort of the season and the best three-point game since posting identical numbers Jan. 25, 2005 at Detroit. The 94.1 percent from the free throw line is also sixth in school history. It was the first 90 percent free throw effort of the season for UWM, which had four such games last season, including the first and fourth-best performances.
Stretching That Out
Milwaukee's game at Central Michigan was indicative of how it's been shooting the ball this season. The Panthers are 12th in the nation with a 39.4 percent three-point percentage and are 20th in three-pointers per game (7.1). They have also extended a modest streak of 152-straight games with a three-pointer. Over its last two games, UWM is 32-of-37 from the charity stripe, pushing its season percentage from 69.5 to 74.8 percent. That figure is 33rd nationally. Lastly, the team's 42.1 percent shooting from the field is also in the top 100 at No. 84.
Finding A Rhythm
No player has found her shooting her stroke more than Traci Edwards. After hitting on an uncharacteristic 43.6 percent of her shots over the first four games, she has made 20-of-27 (74.1 percent) from the field over the last three games. That stretch included a 9-for-9 effort at Central Michigan Saturday. She is now shooting 53.9 percent, a figure that is second in the league and 52nd in the nation. Edwards is already the school record holder in career (58.0 percent) and single-season (59.9 percent) field goal percentage and ranked 10th in the nation as a freshman and 13th as a sophomore.
Shooting To The Top
Senior Aubri Rote is seeing her first extended action this season and she has responded well. In sitting second on the team with 11.7 points per game, she has shot 50 percent (17-for-34) from three-point range. Combined with her near-school-record 44 percent on threes last season and a 6-for-9 effort as a sophomore, she is 45-for-93 (.484) on threes in her UWM career. That figure is a school record, besting the 44.1 percent shot by Tracey Freund (1990-91).
In The Nation, Too
Aubri Rote's three-point prowess has also vaulted her to among the nation's elite in three-point shoot. Despite hitting just 3-of-8 three-pointers last week, she jumped from 10th to eighth nationally in three-point percentage. She also appears in the national rankings tied for first in single-game three-point percentage (6-for-7/.857; @ Chicago State) and 55th in three-pointers made per game (2.4). Rote is not the only Panther on the national leaderboards, as junior Traci Edwards appears in, or just outside, the top-50 in three categories. Edwards is leading the league in points (19.4) and rebounds (9.9), while ranking 27th in the nation in scoring and 31st in rebounding. She is also 52nd in field goal percentage at 53.9 percent.
As just a junior, Traci Edwards is poised to hold a number of school records when her career comes to an end. But, there are a handful of marks that will likely fall before she begins her senior campaign. She is currently two free throws made shy of second all-time and 42 back of Maria Viall's school record of 390. Edwards also trails only Viall by 10 career 20-point games (31), five double-digit rebound games (33) and four double-doubles (32). Edwards has also tied Nichole Drummond for fourth in career double-digit scoring games and could be second at season's end.
With A Little Help From My Friends
It's no surprise that Traci Edwards is the focal point of the Panther offense. But, this season, her teammates are doing their part to alleviate the burden. In 68 career games, Edwards has led the team in scoring 53 times and rebounding 57 times. She recently had a streak of 27-straight games she played in where she led the team in scoring, as well as a smaller streak of 11-straight games leading in rebounding, snapped. Aubri Rote ended the scoring streak at Central Connecticut State. That streak was a school record and three times longer than any such streak in the team's Division I history. Saturday at Central Michigan, freshman Lindsay Laur grabbed a team-high six rebounds.
Keeping It Going
Edwards has kept one streak going for quite some time, scoring in double-figures for the 30th-straight game Tuesday. She started the season with a 23-game streak that had already established a school record and scored 30 points in the season opener. The 30-point outing was a school record for points in a season opener and the fourth 30-point outing of her career, another record. It was also Edwards' fifth-straight 20-point game dating back to last season, tying a school record she had already shared. She has scored in double figures 63 times in her career (68 games), including 20-or-more points 31 times.
Everybody Gets Into The Act
Head coach Sandy Botham has been stressing the imortance of bench scoring this season being key for winning. She may be on to something there. In UWM's three wins, the Panther bench is averaging 30.3 points per game. In four losses, Milwaukee is getting just 11.0 points from the bench. In fact, there have been four double-digit scorers off the bench, all coming in wins. Jineen Williams has two of the games, scoring 13 at Chicago State and 10 at Central Michigan. At Central Connecticut State, both Emily Markert and Maurika Hickman scored 10 points off the bench.
Milwaukee's style of play has been a lot more up-tempo this season. And with that has come a more pressure-packed defense. This season, the Panthers have forced 20-or-more turnovers in four games and picked up eight-or-more steals four times. Last season, the team had just six games with at least eight steals. On average, UWM opponents are turning over the ball 19.3 times per game, including 7.3 on steals. Plus, the team has held its last two opponents to just 14.8 percent (4-for-27) three-point shooting and held two opponents below 40 percent shooting.
Junior guard Jody Crumble returned to the court for Milwaukee at Central Michigan after missing the previous two games with an injury. She strained her knee against Miami. Meanwhile, the only other Panther injury this season has been Danae Russell. Russell has yet to play this season while recovering from an off-season back injury.
Milwaukee has three wins this season, pushing its program win total to 494. The team now needs just seven 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 494-421 all-time, including 243-240 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). Over the early portion of the season, Edwards surpassed Nichole Drummond as the program's fifth-highest Division I scorer (1,251 points) and Molly O'Brien as the third-leading rebounder (662). Overall, she is now eighth all-time in scoring and seventh in rebounding
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 205. 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.
Home Sweet Home
The Klotsche Center remains a difficult place for visiting teams to succeed. In 11-plus years under Sandy Botham, the Panthers are 97-44 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 league mark. The Panthers have won 53 of their last 62 home league games over the last eight seasons and posted three perfect home league years--going 8-0 in 2003-04 and 7-0 in both 1999-2000 and 2000-01.
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 1999-00 W L
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
Notes From The Exhibtion Season
Milwaukee posted a 2-0 record in a pair of exhibition games this season ... 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 percent ... 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.
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 has started her second season at UWM after transfering from Jackson State. She started the final 10 games of the year after becoming eligible to play in the second semester last season.
Welcome To Milwaukee
With seven upperclassmen returning, the Panthers 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. Freshmen Maurika Hickman, Jenilee Klomstead, Stephanie Schell and Jineen Williams were also signed to National Letters of Intent in the off-season. Plus, UWM benefits 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.
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 seven 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.
Building For The Future
Milwaukee signed a player to a National Letter of Intent during the earlt signing period when Amanda Viehauser of Minneapolis, Minn., committed to the Panthers during the early signing period. A varsity player since her eighth-grade year, Viehauser is coming off all-state honorable mention honors in her first year at Armstrong High School. She averaged 12.4 points per game and was named to the all-conference team. Prior to that, she played three years at Minneapolis Washburn High School.
Room For A Few More Notes
Milwaukee won its season-opener for the first time since 2001-02 ... the Panthers scored 88 points at Chicago State, a school record for points in a season opener ... in the season opener, Traci Edwards (30 points) and Aubri Rote (20 points) were the first UWM teammates to each tally 20 points since Feb. 11, 2006 ... it was also the first time that Milwaukee had a 30-point scorer and 20-point scorer in the same game since Jan. 15, 1998 ... Edwards' 30 points are a school record for a season-opener and, dating back to last season, her fifth-straight 20-point game. That tied a school record she already shared ... Rote's season-opening night included a 6-of-7 three-point shooting effort, tied for the sixth-most three's in a single game and the fourth-best percentage in school history.