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Badgers women’s basketball team finally solves UW-Milwaukee, improves to 2-0

November 14, 2018

MILWAUKEE — Not again.

The University of Wisconsin women’s basketball team was not about to lose another game to in-state rival UW-Milwaukee.

After dominating the series for four decades, winning 24 of the first 25 meetings, the Badgers came to the Klotsche Center with a two-game losing streak against the Panthers.

And they appeared to be in danger as Milwaukee opened up a 24-15 lead with UW’s two top point guards picking up two quick fouls and starting forward Courtney Fredrickson in the locker room after suffering an apparent serious knee injury.

But then the Badgers turned things around as they took command in the second period and pulled away in the second half for a 68-57 victory.

“This is a wonderful game,” said senior Marsha Howard, who led the way with her second double-double in two games with 16 points and 10 rebounds. “Enough was enough. When we stepped on this court, we knew enough was enough. When they started out early hitting a lot of 3-pointers we knew we had to adjust. They weren’t really going inside, so we just had to get out on those shooters.”

After hitting six 3-pointers in the first quarter, Milwaukee was just 4-for-17 from beyond the arc the rest of the way. The Panthers (0-2) missed all seven attempts in the second quarter, making just one of 18 attempts overall.

“That’s five-man defense, trusting and believing in each other,” Howard said. “It’s just playing together offensively and defensively.”

The Badgers (2-0) got 12 points from freshman Imani Lewis and redshirt freshman Alex Luehring and 11 from junior Abby Laszewski.

“I thought we did a better job of guarding the 3-point line,” UW coach Jonathan Tsipis said. “So all of sudden there were more contested shots and they didn’t get anything easy.

“We got the ball into the paint and I thought Marsha, Abby and Imani were really productive to get us back in the game. Then when they go to the zone in the second half we wanted to get Alex and Kelly going.”

Howard had the Badgers’ only 3-pointer in the first half, but Luehring hit four in the second half, including two in a 14-0 run that saw them blow open a 53-33 lead late in the third quarter.

“I was just feeling it, I guess,” Luehring said. “My teammates were really encouraging me to shoot. In the first half they were guarding me close so I kept feeding the posts and they did great. In the second half they kind of stepped off a little bit so that opened me up a little.”

Milwaukee coach Kyle Rechlicz said her team wasn’t likely to maintain its hot perimeter shooting all night, but it was never able to establish much else offensively.

“I knew we wouldn’t be able to hold the 3-point game as well as we did in the first quarter for the whole game,” said Rechlicz, the former Badger player and assistant coach. “I was disappointed with the lack of aggressiveness in getting to the hoop. Much credit to the Badgers. They switched our ball screens and that threw us for a loop.”

That was an overdue turnabout for the Badgers, who had been thrown for a loop the past two years by the Panthers, who won 80-63 here two years ago and 67-64 last season at the Kohl Center.

“We had a long discussion about that, the pride of having ‘Wisconsin’ across your chest,” Tsipis said. “This is a high-level game because it’s an in-state rivalry. We talked about how important it was to hold serve in the state after not winning one of those games last year.

“We had enough that were here two years ago and that bitter taste of defeat. You hope they rise that, and these kids realize that ‘Wisconsin’ across their chests is something they can never take for granted.”

That message certainly came through.

“We talked a lot about that all week,” Laszewski said. “We’re the state school and we have to beat them.”

WISCONSIN

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Karlis 30 2-5 1-2 3 2 4 4 5

Howard 30 6-11 3-5 10 4 1 2 16

Fredrckson 7 0-0 0-0 0 0 1 1 0

Lewis 25 4-14 4-9 8 2 0 1 12

Beverley 20 3-5 1-1 5 2 2 0 7

VanLeeuwen 29 2-7 0-0 4 3 5 0 4

Laszewski 20 4-6 3-8 7 0 0 1 11

Bragg 12 0-2 1-2 1 1 0 3 1

Crowley 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Mueller 1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0

Luehring 25 4-10 0-0 6 1 1 0 12

Totals 200 25-60 13-27 46 15 14 12 68

UW-MILWAUKEE

min fg-a ft-a rb pf a to pts

Walstad 14 0-3 1-2 3 4 0 0 1

Schmelzer 31 2-6 1-2 4 2 4 2 6

Reit 32 3-9 1-1 6 2 0 1 9

Bisping 16 1-2 2-2 3 4 1 0 4

Cera 28 2-4 0-0 2 4 2 3 5

Moore 5 0-1 0-0 0 1 0 1 0

Hayes 16 4-9 0-2 4 1 1 1 8

Fischer 5 0-8 0-0 1 0 0 0 0

Levy 10 4-9 0-0 1 0 0 2 11

Johnson 19 2-2 0-0 7 2 0 3 5

Odegard 24 2-8 2-4 3 4 0 2 8

Totals 200 20-61 7-13 39 24 8 15 57

Team totals include rebounds and turnovers

Wisconsin 15 15 23 15 — 68

UW-Milwaukee 24 4 10 19 — 57

3-pointers — W 5-16 (Luehring 4-8, Howard 1-1, Beverley 0-1, Bragg 0-1, Van Leeuwen 0-2, Karlis 0-3), UWM 10-27 (Levy 3-6, Odegard 2-3, Reit 2-5, Cera 1-1, Johnson 1-1, Schmelzer 1-3, Walstad 0-1, Hayes 0-2, Fischer 0-5). Blocks — W 7 (Luehring 3, Howard 2, Lewis 1, Laszewski 1), UWM 4 (Hayes 2, Johnson 2). Steals — W 8 (Lewis 3, Van Leeuwen 2, Howard 1, Beverley 1, Fredrickson 1), UWM 5 (Hayes 2, Reit 1, Cera 1, Bisping 1). Field goal percentage — W .417, UWM .328. Free throw percentage — W .481, UWM .538. Att. — 1,049.

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