Saturday afternoon was HUGE for the UWM Women’s Basketball team, a win over Wright State and they would put themselves in prime position for a post season spot on the WNIT invitation board.
That’s exactly what happen as Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz led her team to a 68-57 win over the Raiders at home on Senior Day. The win over Wright State was not only the first one on Wisconsin soil since March of 2008, but, it was the also the first time the Panther Women swept their season series with the Raiders in a decade. The win also propelled UWM into sole possession of second place in the Horizon League with just 2 games to play… and the “kicker”… they also now hold the tie breaker with Wright State.
Finishing the season in 2nd place in the Horizon League has it’s perks… first it allows that team to only play 2 games in the conference tournament to win it all, instead of four. Second, is that it comes with an automatic bid into the WNIT post season tournament, something that has eluded Milwaukee for the last ten years.
As far as the game against the Raiders, it was never in question, the Panthers held the lead for all of 2 and a half minutes during the 40 minute contest, their biggest lead being 23 points. Sierra Ford-Washington put on a clinic scoring a career high 26 points, while the Panthers out rebounded the 2nd best rebounding team in the nation 49-44. The Panther Women drained 9 baskets from beyond the arc, and did not turn the ball over once in the third period.
Right now, Rechlicz’s team is hitting on all cylinders, and seem to be peaking at the right time. The win Saturday extended their overall record to 17-10, and 11-5 in the Conference, and “rocking” a 4 game winning streak. In doing so, they added the Raiders to the lot of teams they have swept this season which include Valparaiso, UIC, Cleveland State, and Northern Kentucky.
Only two hurdles that stand between UWM and that elusive number 2 spot are the last two games in Michigan. The first is Thursday (3/3) in Oakland at 6pm, and the regular season finale on Saturday (3/5) in Motown with a 2 pm tip. Both games can be heard on the Big 920, and if you’re looking for that extra edge going into those broadcasts tune into Newstalk 1130 on Tuesday (3/1) for the Panther Report/Coaches Show from 6-7pm…OR even better yet, WATCH the show LIVE at the Gasthaus inside the Student Union on UWM’s Campus ( 2200 E. Kenwood Blvd).
(photos courtesy of: livewire, womensnit, twitter)