The Panthers (3-3) fell to the 15th-ranked Northwestern Wildcats (8-0) Sunday afternoon 69-44 at the Welsh-Ryan Arena.
The Panthers fought hard on the glass but ultimately couldn’t overcome their ice cold 13-for-64 (20.3 percent) shooting from the field. Milwaukee finished the game with a 17-11 edge on the offensive glass, but shot just 3-for-28 (10.7 percent) from beyond the arc.
“I thought that we competed – especially on the defensive end and on the rebounding side of things,” head coach Kyle Rechlicz said. “We just really struggled to put the ball in the basket.”
Steph Kostowicz scored in double figures for the second straight game to lead the Panthers with 13 points. Kostowicz tied with Jenny Lindner for the team lead in boards with seven. Lindner finished the game with six points and Sydney Howard chipped in with eight. Akaylah Hayes added the first two points of her college career in the game.
“We’re still growing as a team,” Rechlicz said. “Because we have so many new players, we learn new things about ourselves every game – win or lose. Some of the positives of this game were that we definitely crashed the boards really hard – especially Jenny and Steph. They really put themselves out there against a big team. I thought we were the aggressors. We really put ourselves in a position to attack the basket and get easier shots and slow the game down.”
Milwaukee trailed 37-21 after the first half. They were able to cut the lead down to just 11 early in the third quarter, but were unable to find an offensive rhythm to pull any closer.
First Team All Big-Ten performer Nia Coffey led the Wildcats with 21 points and 14 rebounds in the win.
Milwaukee heads back to the Prairie State for a match-up with Eastern Illinois on Thursday. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Lantz Arena.