The Milwaukee women’s basketball team returned home after a road trip for their home opener on Tuesday night and got the win against Loyola, 63-41.
“To be able to be back on our home court feels amazing,” said head coach Kyle Rechlicz. “I feel like it’s been way too long having those first three games on the road.”
Milwaukee delivered right away for the full crowd at the Klotsche Center. The Panthers offense took control of the court with layups and took a 6-0 lead in the opening minutes.
The Panthers scored 21 points on 47 percent shooting in the first quarter alone. 20 of those 21 points all came from the paint.
“The plan was to dominate the paint,” said Rechlicz. “We found Kostowicz and Lindner early and often, so a lot of credit to our guards for getting them the basketball.”
Steph Kostowicz found the paint from the beginning. The starting forward led with 19 points.
Jenny Lindner followed Kostowicz with 12 points. Alyssa Fischer added six points off the bench.
Milwaukee maintained their first-half domination in the second half.
The 33-18 lead at halftime grew to 38-18 within the first five minutes of the second half with more layups and focused defense from Panthers.
While going on an offensive clinic, the Panthers defense limited Loyola, who was led on offense by Jessica Cerda with 12 points.
Loyola attempted to stay in the game, racking up their most points in the 4th quarter. A couple layups and an and-one play by Tiara Williams in the closing seconds connected swiftly, but the Ramblers could not keep up with Milwaukee’s lead.
Tuesday night’s win evens Milwaukee’s season at 2-2. The Panthers head back on the road for a contest against Western Illinois on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. and then return home on Dec. 2 against North Dakota State University for a 7 p.m. tipoff.
“We planned a lot of road games this year,” said Rechlicz.
“We play a team that went to the NCAA last year in Western Illinois and they’ve been winning a lot of games. We beat them last year on our home court, so they’re looking for a little revenge. I’m very fully expecting that we’re going to start winning both on the road and on our home court.”