The Panthers defeated the Badgers 80-63 at home on Tuesday night at the Klotsche Center. Jenny Lindner scored 28 points and Sierra Ford-Washington added 27 points to lead the Panthers to victory.
After a road stretch this past week, this game against Wisconsin was a highly-anticipated match-up for Milwaukee.
Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz discussed the Panthers’ home-court advantage.
“It’s nice to be back at home,” said Rechlicz. “I love the support and I appreciate it. People coming out and cheering us on really helped us tonight. To be in our gym was really a deciding factor. I know we’re about to go back on the road, and it’s nice to channel energy in both places. We play the same basketball, and that’s Milwaukee basketball.”
The game started fast-paced, with back and forth possessions. The Panthers picked up their defense to gain an edge. A steal by Alyssa Fischer minutes before the end of the first period gave the ball to the Panthers.
Milwaukee received two and-1 plays from their top scorers of the night, Jenny Lindner and Sierra Ford-Washington, who was clutch all night going 3-of-6 from the three point line.
“Nothing was different than usual,” said Ford-Washington. “We always just come out to win because that’s what we do.”
Wisconsin entered the second half with two back-to-back baskets. Cayla McMorris scored 11 points for the Badgers.
The Panthers remained consistent on offense, forcing pressure defense from the Badgers midway through the third period. Bailey Farley added a crucial assist and a couple shots to increase the Panther lead.
“They really put the team on their backs tonight,” said Rechlicz. “That’s one of the great things about our team. We have so many different attributes in scoring. Tonight, it was Jenny and Sierra’s turn. Other times, it’s Steph and Alexis. I think Bailey can be a great scorer for us too. It’s nice when other people step up and it’s hard to defend us in that sense.”
Ford-Washington went down with two minutes left in the game and a timeout was called by the officials. The Panthers would go on to score 12 more points before the final buzzer.
The Panthers head back on the road to Vermont for the TD Bank Classic.