The Milwaukee women’s basketball team grinded out a second straight win at the Klotsche Center on campus Saturday afternoon against Youngstown State, 62-61, with a game-winning shot by sophomore guard Jamie Reit.
“I saw the ball coming towards me and I knew that I had to get a shot off quickly, so that’s just what I did,” said Reit.
Reit had eight total points on 3-3 shooting behind Steph Kostowicz with 17 and Jenny Lindner with 15. Kostowicz and Lindner were being double-teamed, which left an open Reit in mid-range position for a jumper with mere seconds left in the game.
“That was just amazing for her,” said Milwaukee head coach Kyle Rechlicz. “The play didn’t get run the way that we would have liked to get it run. It was not textbook, but with a loose ball situation, you just gotta continue to play. For her to be able to scoop that up and have a heads-on mentality to just get a quick shot off – and she nailed it because she’s such a great shooter – was just an awesome celebration for a sophomore.”
The Panthers got atop Youngstown State from being down plenty in the game with their decisive playmaking. Several Panthers stepped up to get stops and shots against the Penguins.
Alyssa Fischer came off the bench for eight points and Bailey Farley added another seven.
YSU made it difficult on the Panthers, which Rechlicz predicted before the matchup mentioning YSU’s inside presence. YSU beat out UWM in points in the paint, 28-26, and much of their inside presence came by way of one player.
Forward Sarah Cash crashed the boards and led the Penguins with 28 points.
“I really felt like Youngstown did a great job of taking away some of our strengths,” said Rechlicz. I thought that they really did a great job on Jenny Lindner who had an excellent game against Cleveland State. They really packed it in on her and double-teamed her. We had some of our shooters on the perimeter that just didn’t hit the shots that they normally hit and they left our point guards really open.”
Milwaukee battled on the inside and out with YSU to make it a back and forth ballgame. The energy from being on the home floor gave the Panthers an edge where they sparked several scoring runs.
Each quarter saw more productivity from Milwaukee. An offensive rebound and put-back at the start of the second lifted the momentum for the Panthers. Milwaukee achieved a six-point lead at the half.
It was all momentum for the Panthers in the second half, as they continued to find shots.
The Penguins kicked off the fourth strong, scoring eight straight to stretch the lead 61-55. The Panthers got up to 58 with a three from Lindner. Another offensive rebound and a couple of free throws with 49 seconds left by Steph Kostowicz quickly made it a one-point game, 60-61.
Milwaukee maintained a defensive stance to keep YSU at 61 while grabbing a rebound and getting back for the final two points from Reit.
The Panthers beat out Youngstown State in rebounds, 42-26, as well as 13-2 in second-chance points and 12-2 in points off the bench.
The Panthers look ahead of winning the two-game home stand against Cleveland State and Youngstown State to three road games, which begin Monday against UIC for a 1 p.m. tip.
“I thought it was an unbelievable game,” said Rechlicz. “There were so many back and forth moments. They had the lead, then we had the lead. Those are the kind of games that really prepare you for the end of the year conference tournament. The more you can put yourself in those types of games, the better it is for you later down the stretch.
“We love playing at home in front of our crowd and our family. It’s such an important aspect for us to be able to play in front of our fans, so we’ve only lost one game at home so far this year, and so it means a lot because it usually gets us back on track when we’ve had a couple of tough road games. Now, we’re on a two-game winning streak playing at home, so hopefully we can carry that into the next three.”