Cardinal Stritch @ Milwaukee
Friday, Dec. 28 7 p.m.
Milwaukee, Wis. (Klotsche Center/5,000)
Radio: WOKY - 920 AM (Scott Warras)
uwmpanthers.com: Live Stats, Audio
Complete Release in PDF Format
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Dec. 27, 2007) - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team looks to get back on the winning track when its hosts Cardinal Stritch University at the Klotsche Center Friday night. The Wolves will make the 5.1-mile trek from the CSU campus for a 7 p.m. tip off.
Milwaukee has dropped its last two games, including a 67-64 heartbreaker against North Dakota State Dec. 20 ... Cardinal Stritch is riding a six-game winning streak and last defeated Central Methodist (Mo.), 77-49, Dec. 18 ... UWM is in search of its first home win of the season while owning a 3-2 road record ... three of Milwaukee's four home losses have been by three-or-less points ... the Panthers were picked to win the Horizon League in its preseason poll of league coaches, SIDs and media members ... Traci Edwards was named the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year.
The Panthers close out 2007, the non-league portion of their schedule and a four-game homestand when La Salle comes to the Klotsche Center for a New Year's Eve matinee (1 p.m.).
Watching The Wolves
Cardinal Stritch is one of the top teams in NAIA Division II and enter Friday's game with an 11-2 record. The Wolves have reeled off six-straight wins and have only lost to No. 2 Northwestern (Iowa) and No. 5 Davenport (Mich.). Meanwhile, Stritch has wins over No. 21 Sterling College (Kan.), NCAA Division II UW-Parkside and Division III UW-La Crosse. The Wolves are outscoring opponents by 22.5 points per game (78-55.5) and are led by five starters with 7.5 ppg or better. Jeni Caldwell leads the squad with 15.4 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.
Despite being seperated by just 5.1 miles, UWM And Cardinal Stritch have never played. In fact, the Panthers have played just one NAIA team since moving to NCAA Division I in 1990-91, defeating St. Francis (Ill.) 95-63 Jan. 31, 1991. St. Francis is a member of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference alongside Stritch.
Last Time Out: North Dakota St. 67, Milwaukee 53
North Dakota State overcame a 64-58 deficit with 2:39 remaining in the game by scoring the final nine points to hand the Panthers a 67-64 loss Thursday night at the Klotsche Center. UWM led for almost 16 minutes in the second half before the Bison (5-5) rallied for the late win. Turquoise McCain was one of four Panthers in double-figures, turning in her first collegiate double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Notes From The NDSU Contest
UWM committed a season-low 14 turnovers for the second-straight game ... it also posted its first positive assist-to-turnover ratio (15/14) ... Meredith Onson had three assists, giving her 169 for her career. That figure is tied for 12th in the team's Division I history ... Aubri Rote hit a pair of threes, giving her 48 in her career--tied for 17th in school history.
Knocking Down The Free Ones
Over its last four games, UWM is 55-of-67 from the charity stripe, pushing its season percentage from 69.5 to 75.2 percent. That figure is among top 50 nationally.
Finding A Rhythm
Traci Edwards has found the shooting stroke she searched for after an early cold spell to start the season. She hit on an uncharacteristic 43.6 percent of her shots over the first four games. Since then, she has made 28-of-42 (66.7 percent) from the field. That stretch included 12-straight made shot attempts and a 9-for-9 effort at Central Michigan Dec. 8. She is now shooting 53.8 percent on the year, a figure that is third in the league. Edwards is already the school record holder in career (57.8 percent) and single-season (59.9 percent) field goal percentage and ranked 10th in the nation as a freshman and 13th as a sophomore.
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 has moved up to second in school history in career free throws made and is now 29 free throws made shy of 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 moved past Nichole Drummond for fourth in career double-digit scoring games (65) and could be second at season's end.
My Better Half
Against North Dakota State last Thursday, Edwards posted a notable first half by her own standards. In the opening period, she was held to just two points and no rebounds. It was her lowest scoring half since being held scoreless in the first half of the 2006 meeting with NDSU. It was also just the ninth half of two points or less of her career. She followed that up with 12 points in the second half--her 66th career double-digit scoring half. Of those 66 halves, 41 have been in the second. As for the rebounds, it was the first half in which she did not have a rebound since the first half of her collegiate career--Nov. 11, 2005 at Oklahoma. She had had a rebound in 137-straight halves of basketball
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 70 career games, Edwards has led the team in scoring 55 times and rebounding 58 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. And, twice in the last three games, another player has led the team in rebounding.
Keeping It Going
Edwards has kept one streak going for quite some time, scoring in double-figures for the 32nd-straight game last Thursday. 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 65 times in her career (70 games), including 20-or-more points 31 times.
Double-Double Fun Facts
Junior Turquoise McCain posted her first career double-double against North Dakota State last Thursday ... McCain is the 24th player in school history to post a double-double ... it was the program's 177th since moving to Division I, including 171st consisting of points and rebounds ... McCain is one of four players on the active roster with a double-double, joining Traci Edwards (33), Emily Markert (1) and Jody Crumble (1) ... Crumble's came as part of UWM's only triple-double ... Maria Viall holds the record for most in a career (36), Edwards holds the single-season mark (15) and Erica Young had the most in a row (5) ... aside from Crumble, the only other players with point/assist double-doubles are Pam Bartnik (5) and Jen Greger (1).
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 11.2 points per game, she has shot 41.7 percent (20-for-48) 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 48-for-107 (.449) on threes in her UWM career. That figure is a school record, besting the 44.1 percent shot by Tracey Freund (1990-91).
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 six losses, Milwaukee is getting just 13.0 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 18.2 times per game, including just under seven per game on steals. Plus, the team has held its last three opponents to just 26.2 percent (16-for-61) three-point shooting and held two opponents below 40 percent shooting this season.
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 494-422 all-time, including 243-241 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 (1,281 points) and Molly O'Brien as the third-leading rebounder (676). Overall, she is now eighth all-time in scoring and sixth 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 97-46 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.
While the Klotsche Center is no picnic for opponents to play in, the Panthers have found harsh going on its home floor this season. UWM is off to an uncharacteristic 0-4 start to its home schedule. But, three of those losses have by three points or less.
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.
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.