Panthers Wrap Up December Home Slate Against Illinois State
Senior Emily Decorah

Senior Emily Decorah

Dec. 19, 2013

 Game 11 | Illinois State (1-7) at Milwaukee (2-8)
 Date  Sunday, December 22 | 1 p.m.
 Location  Milwaukee, Wis. | Klotsche Center (3,500)
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The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team closes out the 2013 portion of its home schedule Sunday afternoon, welcoming Illinois State University to the Klotsche Center for a non-conference matchup scheduled for a 1 p.m. start. The Panthers look to stop a losing streak against the Redbirds, as UWM's last three opponents have provided stiff competition, combining for a win-loss record of 26-3 (.897 winning percentage) so far on the season.

The Last Meeting
Illinois State75
November 29, 2012
Normal, Ill.
Redbirds Pull Away From Panthers In Second Half
Jamie Russell and Candace Sykes each had a double-double to lead Illinois State University past the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team, 75-54, Thursday evening at Redbird Arena.

UWM Game Notes Get Acrobat Reader

The Redbirds, 24-11 a season ago, are off to a slow start and will enter Sunday's contest at 1-7 overall after a 65-39 loss at Princeton Wednesday. Chloe Nelson (13.6 ppg), Alexis Foley (9.5 ppg) and Stekara Hall (9.0 ppg) lead the offense, with Nelson the only player to average double-figures. Brianna Puni adds 5.1 ppg and leads the squad with 7.9 rebounds per outing. Illinois State head coach Barb Smith is in her first season with the program after spending 2012-13 at Saint Louis University as an assistant coach.

The all-time history between the two schools dates back to before UWM was an NCAA Division I member. The Redbirds lead 6-1 all-time, including a 4-1 mark in DI games. A season ago, the Panthers dropped a 75-54 decision on the road.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team shot a season-low 27 percent from the field and could not recover, falling to Marquette University by a score of 71-52 Sunday afternoon. The Panthers (2-8) and Golden Eagles (7-2) were playing for the first time since 2009, renewing the cross-town rivalry in front of a crowd of 787 at the Klotsche Center.

Senior Angela Rodriguez paced the team with a game-high 19 points, finishing with six rebounds and five assists (just one turnover). Junior Ashley Green was the only other Panther in double-figures with 12.

The Panthers may be off to a slow start, but the strength of their schedule has had a lot to do with that. The overall win-loss record of all opponents that have posted wins over UWM is 50-24 this season, with the last three opponents combining for a 26-3 mark to date (Indiana at 11-0, Bowling Green 8-1 and Marquette 7-2).

The Panthers set a record for fewest turnovers per game last season at 16.2 and are once again on pace to lower that mark even further in 2013-14. Through 10 games, UWM has just 14.1 turnovers per contest.

For the second time this season and the third time in her career, senior Angela Rodriguez posted a points-assists double-double when she had 13 and 10 against Indiana Dec. 11. Her first of the season was an 18 & 10 outing against Western Illinois Nov. 17. She also recorded 12 points and 10 assists against UIC back in February of 2011. There are now just nine total point-assist double-doubles in UWM program history and Rodriguez owns 33 percent of that total. Kiki Wilson was the last player to accomplish the feat in February of 2012.

Sophomore Avyanna Young continues her breakout campaign and is on pace for making quite the statistical jump from one year to the next. As a freshman a year ago, Young averaged 4.3 points per game. Her scoring average of 11.8 so far this season marks an improvement of 174 percent. The last player to make such a jump into a double-figure scoring average was Teri Huff, who went from scoring 3.6 ppg as a junior in 2003-04 to 10.2 ppg as a senior in 2004-05.

The Panthers have an odd statistical streak that dates back to their first game as an NCAA Division I program in 1990 ... the team has never played a game in which it didn't make at least one free throw. The Panthers extended the streak to 669 games in a row against Bowling Green Dec. 8 - but just barely. Milwaukee went to the free throw line just five times against the Falcons, making one.

Senior Angela Rodriguez handed out 10 assists against the Hoosiers Dec. 11, the third time this season she has recorded nine-or-more and the sixth time in her career she has reached that mark. In fact, she currently leads the Horizon League at 6.0 assists per game (second is 4.0) and her 10 assists against IU and Western Illinois Nov. 17 remain the highest single-game assist total in the conference so far this season. She started the week ranked 24th in the NCAA in assists and is on pace to become just the second Panther to ever average over 5.0 assists per game in program history. The school record is held by Pam Bartnik, who averaged 5.7 assists in 1993-94.

After reaching the required minimum of 175 career free throw attempts, senior Angela Rodriguez has jumped into second-place on the all-time free-throw percentage list with her 84.2 percent clip, having now made 176 of 209 from the charity stripe. The career leader is Lindsay Laur, who made 86.4 percent (273-of-316) in her UWM career from 2007-11.

Milwaukee held its first annual "School Day with the Panthers" in conjunction with its game against North Dakota Dec. 4 and the crowd did not disappoint. A sellout of 3,500 at the Klotsche Center marked the third-largest attendance figure in UWM women's basketball history, trailing only the 4,137 that witnessed a contest against Green Bay in February of 2002 and a crowd of 3,689 against UIC in January of 2002.

Macie Dorow took it upon herself to make quite the impression when given the chance to make her first start of the season against New Mexico State Nov. 30. The junior doubled her previous career-high of seven points, finishing with 14 - including 12 in the first half alone. She also tied her career-high with five rebounds - including one on UWM's final possession that forced the Aggies to foul and help the Panthers put away the game at the line. She played a career-high 35 minutes (her former high was 22) and was on the court to record a steal on the game's final play when NMSU was trying to get off a last shot to try and tie the game and force overtime.

Senior Angela Rodriguez continues to put up points at an impressive clip and is now averaging 17.9 ppg which is good for sixth in the league. That is over five points above her career average coming into the season, helped along by games like she had against New Mexico State Nov. 30. Rodriguez tied her career-high with 30 points, equaling the collegiate-best she set 25 games prior against DePaul last year.

Rodriguez was hitting from everywhere against the Aggies Nov. 30, including an impressive 10-for-10 showing at the free throw line. That perfect mark ties for the sixth-best showing in program history. The last player to accomplish the 10-10 feat was Lindsay Laur against Loyola in February of 2011 (72 games prior to Rodriguez).

The list does not stop there for Rodriguez, who added her 200th career made three-pointer against New Mexico State Nov. 30. The list of players to reach that mark in program history is now three long, with Rodriguez chasing former Panthers Daryl Schaffield (224 from 1996-2000) and school record-holder Jessica Wilhite (277 from 1999-2003) the rest of the season.

A freshman made quite an impact late in the win over New Mexico State Nov. 30 when Sydney Snower stepped to the free throw line with her team trailing by a point with just 79 seconds left on the clock. She calmly sank a pair of free throws to give her team the lead and then made it 4-for-4 with 11 seconds left to give UWM a three-point cushion at the time. The most impressive part of the whole thing? Those were the first four free throws that Snower has shot this season.

A game after blowing past her former career-highs in points and rebounds, sophomore Avyanna Young was at it again against North Dakota State Nov. 23. She poured in 22 points - on 9-12 shooting - for the second-straight game and nearly had consecutive double-doubles by finishing with nine rebounds after collecting 16 in the previous contest. The most impressive feat in setting those new career-highs was just how much further past her old marks she went. Coming into the WIU contest, Young's collegiate bests were 10 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Avyanna Young had 22 points and junior Ashley Green added 21 points against NDSU Nov. 23 to give Milwaukee two players with 20 or more points in the same game since December of 2012 - a span of 20 games. That day against Detroit, Green went for 23 and Angela Rodriguez added 22.

Milwaukee had a pair of players with double-doubles when senior Angela Rodriguez added 18 points and 10 assists to join sophomore Avyanna Young (22 pts/16 reb) on the day against Western Illinois Nov. 17. That marked the first time the Panthers had two players with double-doubles in the same game since Feb. 2 of 2013.

The Panthers now hold an 8-16 record in season-openers at the NCAA Division I level (dating back to 1990-91) following the loss to Wisconsin. A year ago, UWM ran away with an 82-58 win over Chicago State in head coach Kyle Rechlicz's debut contest.

Senior Angela Rodriguez was named to the Preseason All-Horizon League First Team in the league's annual preseason poll of head coaches, media members and sports information directors. In addition, College Sports Madness also named Rodriguez to its All-Horizon League First Team and selected junior Ashley Green on its Second Team squad.

The Panthers have three freshmen on the roster this season and each made their mark in the opener against Wisconsin Nov. 14. Bre'Zall Warren became the first freshman to score at least 10 points in her debut in three seasons, finishing with 11 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists. Christina Wakeman made the most of her 16 minutes on the court, scoring nine points on 3-of-5 shooting to go along with seven rebounds. Sydney Snower joined the trio late, chipping in three points and a pair of rebounds in just four minutes.

The Panthers started the season with three home games in a row. That may not sound that unusual, but by UWM standards it certainly is - it's the first time in Milwaukee's NCAA Division I history that it played its first three games at the Klotsche Center. You have to go all the way back to the 1982-83 campaign to find a longer stretch (six games) to start a season at home.

Milwaukee graduated just two seniors from a season ago and returns plenty of firepower to the court. In fact, the team brings back almost 70 percent of its scoring and rebounding from last year. Underclassmen also accounted for a large majority of starts in 2012-13, a total that closed in on 65 percent.

In her first season on the sidelines with the Panthers, Kyle Rechlicz brought an up-tempo pace to the UWM offense that increased scoring by almost 15 percent from the previous year and included a record-setting three-point attack. Her team broke three Horizon League records and 10 different school records, including fewest turnovers per game and a new standard for points in a contest when the Panthers finished with 116 against Bradley.

Milwaukee finished fourth in the NCAA last season with 8.8 three-pointers made per game and 22nd in the nation by shooting over 35 percent from long distance. The team ended the season with four of the top 15 three-point shooters in the conference, led by senior Emily Decorah, who set the school and league record for three-pointers made in a season.

Senior Angela Rodriguez became the 18th member of the 1,000-point club last season, joining Sami Tucker in giving UWM a pair of players to accomplish the feat in the same season, a program first. Looking back, the 2002-03 season was the last time UWM even had a pair of 1,000+ scorers on the same roster (Viall and Jessica Wilhite).

Rodriguez started the season with 1,050 points and in 17th place on the all-time list. Going off her current scoring average, she could approach the top five by the end of her senior season.

There could be another addition to the 1,000-point club on the current roster and it could happen as soon as this season. Junior Ashley Green went over 500 career points a season ago and started 2013-14 with 647 career points.

The Panthers were definitely a three-point shooting team in 2012-13 and shattered team records in three-pointers made and attempted in the process. UWM ended the campaign with 255 made 3's (record was 212 in 2010-11) and 726 attempts (record was 586 in 1996-97).

Senior Emily Decorah continued to hit from long-range and is now the Horizon League and school record holder for most three-pointers after making 95 as a junior.

1. Decorah, 95, 2012-13
2. Jessica Wilhite: 93, 2000-01
3. Wilhite: 70, 2002-03

She led the Horizon League in three-point percentage at 40.8 percent and was one of the top long-distance shooters in the nation, finishing fifth in the NCAA with 3.3 made 3's per game and 17th in percentage. She also broke the record for made 3's in league-only games with 67, eclipsing the former mark was 52.

The Panthers have turned it up from three-point range recently, but have always been a threat from long distance. In fact, the team has a long history of making three's headed in to 2013-14. Milwaukee has made at least one three-pointer in every game dating back to an 0-for-4 showing from long-distance against Marquette back on November 26, 2002. That makes 339 games in a row heading into the game against the Redbirds. It's a ways to go for the NCAA record, however, which is held by Canisius at 510 in a row (1994-2011). The Horizon League record was halted two years ago when Loyola came up empty at 446. Cleveland State held the record previously - which was also the NCAA mark at the time - at 408 (1992-2007).

The Panthers scored 80-plus points in four games last season. Two years ago, the team did not crack the 80-point barrier, topping out at 79. Looking back, the last time a UWM team scored more than 80 points at least four times in the same season was 2006-07 (four times that campaign). The last time Milwaukee netted at least 80 more than four times was back in 2000-01, when it did so seven times.

Milwaukee and Bradley played a game for the ages Dec. 4 of last season, with the 116-112 double-overtime game thrilling the Klotsche Center crowd with 12 ties and two lead changes that all occurred after just three minutes remained in regulation and in the OT's. In all, 10 records were set or tied on the night.

-Milwaukee Game Records (old mark)
> 116 points by the team (104)
> 46 field goals made (39)
> 91 field goals attempted (83)
> 17 three-point field goals made (15)
+This was also a Horizon League record
> 31 assists (28)
-Combined Team Records (old mark)
> 228 combined points (200)
-Opponent Records (old mark)
> 36 free throws made (33)
> 43 free throws attempted (tie, 43)
> 16 free throws made by individual (11)
> 100% 16-16 individual FT's (11-11)

The Panthers had a trio of scorers against Bradley Dec. 4 that recorded a first of its kind for the program - the first time UWM has ever had one player over 30 points (Ashley Green with 33) and two others net over 20 points (Angela Rodriguez with 22 and Sami Tucker with 21). In fact, Milwaukee has only had three players score 20 or more points in the same game just twice prior: February 6, 1997 against Butler (Darryl Schaffeld 28, Jen Gregor 25, April Rodman 20) and February 17, 1996 against Cleveland State (Rodman 29, Jill Gutzke 21, Gregor 20). In addition, the only time UWM had as much as one 30-point/20-point combo was November 11, 2007 when Traci Edwards went for 30 and Aubri Rote added 20.

Taking a look back, the Panthers 116 points was not only an all-time program high, but broke the old standard of 104 by a dozen. In fact, the 116 points marked the second-highest output in the NCAA last year, topped only by the 118 that Troy tallied against Furman Nov. 18. The game marked just the fifth time UWM has eclipsed the 100-point barrier in its NCAA D-I history (just 5 of 640 games, or 0.78 percent) and the 11th time since basketball began at the school in 1971. The last time over 100 was nearly 10 years ago (vs. YSU, 2/2/02). The Panthers games in triple-figures include totals of 104 (Northeastern Illinois, 1/22/90), 102 (Detroit, 1/19/02), 101 (CSU, 2/17/96) and 100 (the YSU game). The 228 total points also broke the combined record of 200 and marked the first time both teams were 100-plus in the same contest.

It may have been just three games to start last season, but at 2-1, the Panthers won two of their first three contests for just the second time in the past 11 seasons. The only other 2-1 start in that span came in the 2009-10 campaign. And at 3-2, the only other UWM team that had a better start through five games in the past 20-plus years was that 2009-10 squad that started 4-1.

Head coach Kyle Rechlicz was named the seventh coach in program history in May of 2012. She also got off to one of the best starts - becoming the first UWM coach to win three of her first five contests of her initial campaign. Rechlicz is also one of the youngest coaches at the NCAA Division I level. At 33, there are just six coaches who have earlier birth years - DeUnna Hendrix of High Point University is the youngest in the country at 29, while a trio of head coaches are 31 and a pair is 32.

Fans will have the opportunity to watch the Panthers all season long. The team will play five games on television, returning to Time Warner Cable SportsChannel. Another 18 games will be carried live online on the Horizon League Network. For the Panthers' TWC SportsChannel contests, Bob Brainerd and former UWM great Maria Viall will once again be calling the action.

Every Milwaukee regular season game will once again be available on the radio and online via The Big 920 on your AM dial. Scott Warras is back for his eighth season donning the headset. Fans can also catch Warras' call with the majority of the team's HLN webcasts.

Head coach Kyle Rechlicz rounded out her staff in the offseason by hiring Dan Carey as the team's new video coordinator. Carey was most recently the head coach of the varsity program at Hamilton High School, developing the girls' team into one of the top programs in the state in his four years. He led the Chargers to the last two Greater Metro Conference championships, the first time in program history Hamilton had won a league title.

The Panthers enjoy a break for the holidays and close out 2013 at Drake December 29. Game time is set for 2 pm.



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