In a night that was dedicated to the seniors, a momentous swing in the second half provided the Milwaukee women’s basketball team with an 80-64 victory over Valparaiso Monday night at the Klotsche Center.
Heading into halftime down five, the Panthers were able to get the wheels turning in the final two periods of play, beginning the third quarter with a 13-0 run. They then added in a 11-0 run at the start of the fourth to blow the doors off.
Head Coach Kyle Rechlicz highlighted the resilience of her team in her postgame comments.
“I’m really proud of where our team is at right now,” said Rechlicz. “We knew this was not going to be an easy win. They started off very strong and I was very proud of how our team came out in the second half. Just the refocus, the energy and intensity to finally put them away was tremendous by our entire group.”
The comeback nature of the team was vital. Valparaiso shot lights out to begin the first half, going 5-of-8 from the first quarter on its own. It was enough to grant them a 5-point lead heading into the break.
Then, the Panthers began to cook with gas. Bailey Farley connected on a 3-pointer on the first possession, followed by a layup by Jenny Lindner. Just like that, the Panthers tied up the game. The Milwaukee run would continue as Lindner sank a three and Steph Kostowicz put in a bucket of her own, forcing Valpo to call a timeout.
The Panthers would find a double-digit lead late in the third off of a Farley 3-point shot and they headed into the fourth with an 11 point advantage.
Consecutive jumpers from Lindstrom and Sierra Ford-Washington helped extend the UWM lead to 17 points early on in the period. From there, the Panthers would not look back.
Jordyn Swan scored six points and Christina Wakeman added a 3-pointer in their final home games of their career.
“I was really big on the fact that this isn’t goodbye,” said Rechlicz. “This was just a chance for us to honor [our seniors] to congratulate them on the success that they’ve had and a chance to talk about the next steps of their journey, but this is not goodbye. We have many more games to play.”
With the win, the Panthers have now extended their win streak to four games. They are tied for third place in conference with an 11-5 record, behind only Wright State and Green Bay.
The team will close out the regular season with a final road trip, starting at Northern Kentucky. Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m. CST.