The Milwaukee Panthers women’s basketball team returns home to take on the Wright State Raiders at 7 p.m. inside the Klotsche Center on Friday evening. Friday will be a ‘Pink Out’ as the Panthers look to raise cancer awareness, shirts for the first 500 fans in attendance will be given out.
The game can be viewed on ESPN+; while live stats and live audio on the Black & Gold Network with Matt Menzl on the call are also be available on MKEPanthers.com.
SCOUTING THE RAIDERS
Wright State comes to Milwaukee having won two of its last three games to improve to 4-20 on the season, with a 3-14 mark in Horizon League contests.
In its most-recent game, the Raiders hosted the IUPUI Jaguars and fell by a 93-80 margin behind a 16-point performance by Lauren Scott off the bench in just 18 minutes of play. WSU had four score double-figures in the loss as Emily Chapman had 13, Kacee Baumhower potted 12 and Isabelle Bolender chipped in with 11.
On the season, Bryce Nixon leads all Raiders averaging 12.3 points per game, while Baumhower is second averaging 9.3 points per contest. The team’s leading rebounder is Chapman at 3.4 boards per game, while Chapman also leads the team in assists with 57 on the year. Nixon with 25 steals and Cara VanKempen with 17 blocks lead in those respective categories.
Wright State has been averaging 64.6 points per game this year and allowing 77.5 points per game, while being outrebounded by just under 15 rebounds per game. The Raiders have been trending upward in points however, scoring at least 80 in their last three games including a conference-high 83 at Robert Morris on January 28. The team’s season-high is 98 points against NAIA-member Ohio Christian.
The Panthers and Raiders met on January 7 at the Nutter Center in Ohio. Milwaukee had a bookend performance with 42 combined points in the first and fourth quarters en route to a 72-61 victory.
Milwaukee had four in double-figures on the night with Megan Walstad recording 18 points, while Kamy Peppler had 17, Kendall Nead had 16 and Emma Wittmershaus had 11 in the effort. The Panthers had 16 assists as a team including a team-best five by Jada Donaldson, while Wittmershaus had two steals, Nead had 11 rebounds and Walstad had a pair of blocks to lead the way.
Defensively, MKE struggled allowing a season-worst 10 three-pointers as the Raiders scored nearly half their points on the long ball. Emily Chapman led the way with three of the 10, while the Raiders shot 40.0 percent from the field.
In one of the most evenly split matchups for the Panthers in Horizon League history, MKE has won 32 while dropping 33 all-time matchups. Milwaukee is on a three-game winning streak, and have also won the last two matchups inside the Klotsche Center, 58-47 on November 18, 2021 and 60-58 on December 28, 2019.
WHATS ON TAP?
The Panthers continue its weekend at home as the team will play host to the Northern Kentucky Norse on Sunday afternoon with tipoff slated for 12 pm from the Klotsche Center.
LAST TIME OUT
For the third consecutive game a member of the Milwaukee Panther women’s basketball team had a career-high in points as this time it was Jada Donaldson to score 16 to help propel the Panthers to a 62-57 win over Detroit Mercy on Sunday afternoon.
Donaldson’s point total comes off the heels of Kendall Nead scoring 24 at Oakland on February 3; and Emma Wittmershaus scoring a career-best 25 points against IUPUI on January 28.
Milwaukee shot 42.6 percent from the field for the game including a game-high 47.4 percent in the third quarter as the Panthers erased a 26-25 halftime deficit and turned it into a 48-45 lead following the third quarter.
Nead got the scoring started in the third quarter to put the Panthers up by one. The Titans regained the lead before Donaldson nailed a three-pointer off a pass by Angie Cera to give MKE a two-point advantage. The lead exchanged hands 13 times in the game including seven times in the third quarter, before Donaldson knocked down a jumper with 5:18 to go in the third to put the Panthers up for good.
Kamy Peppler connected on a three-pointer to give Milwaukee some breathing room and ultimately it was Peppler to give the Panthers their largest lead of the game to that point at 43-36 with 3:20 left in the third. Detroit closed the gap late in the period to make it a three-point game heading into the final period.
In the fourth, Milwaukee got a jumper by Anna Lutz to go up by five, before Nead sank a jumper and Megan Walstad added a free throw. Cera gave Milwaukee a nine-point advantage at 55-46 but the Titans refused to go away, shrinking the Panther lead to two at 57-55 with 4:12 to go in the game.
Cera had a free throw and Nead picked up a layup to make it a two-possession game. Detroit had some late chances but were unable to convert as the Panthers held on for the five-point victory.
Cera finished the game with 14 points and three assists, while Walstad had eight points and nine rebounds with the team’s lone block on the day. Nead had eight points of her own and pulled down five rebounds with one steal.
Grace Crowley had a career-best nine rebounds and had two assists and four points, while Peppler ended the game with eight points to go along with a team-best two steals and four assists.
CLIMBING THE BOARD…BOARD
With nine rebounds in back-to-back games in Michigan, Megan Walstad has now climbed into fourth place on the all-time rebound list in Milwaukee history with 830. Walstad passed Jenny Lindner in Sunday’s win over Detroit, as Lindner had 826 for her career. Next on the list is Steph Kostowicz, who finished her career with 898 career rebounds.
Walstad also has 238 offensive rebounds, placing her eight on the offensive rebound list and just four behind Lindner for seventh all-time.
Defensively, Walstad has accumulated 592 rebounds and moved into third all-time on Sunday vs. Detroit Mercy. She is six shy of tying Lindsay Laur, who has 598 in second place all-time.
PASSING THE ROCK
For the second time this season this season, the Panthers had more than 20 assists in a game with 21 coming against Oakland last Friday night. It was the second time this season that MKE totaled better than 20, with a season-best 22 coming against Detroit Mercy on December 29.
The 21 assists on Friday against Oakland came on 31 made field goals, which is the first time Milwaukee registered 30 field goals since January 29, 2022, in the team’s road win at Wright State. The last occurrence that the Panthers had more than 30 made field goals came on January 18, 2019 at Oakland, when Milwaukee was 32-for-64.
Against Detroit Mercy in December, the Panthers had 22 assists on 25 made field goals, the highest assist percentage (88.0) since dishing out 16 assists on 18 field goals (88.8) in a win over Chicago State on March 3, 2016.