Senior Ashley Green led all scorers Friday afternoon as she finished the game with 31 points, leading Milwaukee to a 66-60 victory over the Oakland University Golden Grizzlies.
The Panthers (8-13, 4-5 Horizon League) avenged their January 10th road defeat against the Golden Grizzlies (10-12, 4-5 Horizon League), who were coming off an upset win over first-place Green Bay. With the win, Milwaukee now finds themselves on a three game home winning streak.
“We lost the first time to them by the most we’ve lost to any team all season,” Milwaukee head coach, Kyle Rechlicz said. “We knew they were going to come in with a lot of confidence and I just kept telling our team just weather the storm.”
Green was dominant right from the start, as she scored 9 out the first 11 points for Milwaukee. The 31-point performance by Green marks the fourth time this season she’s reached the 30-point mark, tying the school record.
“For Ashley to score 31 points this late into the season is a testament to how much work she’s put it,” Rechlicz said. “I think in the beginning of the year, I think not a lot of people knew the improvements she had made in her game, and now she’s getting double and triple teamed scoring 31 points.”
Neither team could build much of a lead, but with 5:23 remaining in the second half, Oakland seemed to have gained control after they built up a 53-46 lead. However, the Golden Grizzlies lead didn’t last long as Milwaukee went on a quick 7-0 run.
Green and freshman Kelsey Cunningham each went 2-for-2 from the free throw line then Green buried a huge three pointer capping off the run and tying the game. After an Oakland timeout, the visitors quickly regained the lead after a three pointer by Peyton Apsey. But once again, Green came up with another big play; tying the game at 56 with an old-fashion three point play.
The Panthers took the lead after a Jenny Lindner lay-up and added to that after Green added another pair of free throws. Milwaukee’s lead was now 60-56 with 1:47 left. On their next possession, Oakland scored again on a lay-up cutting the lead back to two.
Following the lay-up, the Golden Grizzlies sent Cunningham back to the line where she made the first free throw, but missed the second. Luckily for her, fellow freshman Steph Kostowicz was there to snatch the offensive rebound. The Panthers went five of six from the line in the final 39 seconds sealing the victory.
The game today was played in front of a rowdy bunch of elementary students as Milwaukee hosted their second annual “School Day With The Panthers.” Students from elementary schools around the Milwaukee Area packed the Klotsche Center, resulting in its third largest turn out for a game.
“It was awesome, you never know how school days are going to go,” Rechlicz said. “Sometimes they don’t know who to even cheer for, but this group really got it.”
Next on the schedule for the Panthers is a match-up on February 12th at Valparaiso. Milwaukee won the first match-up between the teams 90-79.