Saturday, November 28, 2009

Milwaukee vs. South Alabama Live Blog

Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Bowling Green

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Colgate

Gameday #2 In Fort Worth

The Panthers are set for their final game in the NIT Season Tipoff Tournament, as UWM will square off with Colgate today at 5:30. I will again have a live blog during the contest, and you can listen to Bill Johnson's call on WISN (AM 1130) or online through WISN's website.

Here are some other notes as we look toward the game ...

• The Panthers claimed a 96-77 win over Texas State Monday night. UWM led by 26 points at halftime and by as many as 32 points early in the second half in cruising to the win.

• It is still early, but UWM posted season-highs in points (96), shooting percentage (52.1) and three-pointers (12).

• UWM’s 96 points are the most by the Panthers since Milwaukee claimed a 98-57 win over Youngstown State in 2006.

• Milwaukee made 34 free throws and had 43 free-throw attempts. Those are the exact numbers the Panthers had in their league tournament first round win over Loyola a season ago. It is the fifth time in UWM’s Division I history that it has made 34 free throws in a game.

• Meanwhile, UWM was called for 33 fouls in the game - tied for the third-most in the school’s Division I history.

• The two teams combined for 47 turnovers in the contest, with UWM committing 24. That is the most since the Panthers committed 25 in a loss at Drake in 2007.

• The Panthers had 10 turnovers in the win over Texas State, the most since UWM collected 11 in a win over Upper Iowa in November of last year.

• Milwaukee reached double digits in three-pointers made for the first time this season in Monday’s victory. UWM hit double figures in the category 10 times a season ago.

• James Eayrs scored a collegiate-best 28 points, with 22 of his points coming in the first half. He also made a collegiate-high six 3-pointers and played just 19 minutes.

• After going 0-for-5 in the season opener against Concordia, Eayrs has made 13 of his last 26 three-pointers.

• The Panthers got a number of big contributions from freshmen in the win Monday. Lonnie Boga played a season-high 20 minutes and had four points and seven rebounds. Patrick Souter played 26 minutes and had six points while Ja’Rob McCallum came on late and scored eight points in six minutes.

• Ricky Franklin fouled out after playing just 17 minutes Monday but still had 12 points and five rebounds.

• Colgate fell to the hosts from TCU, 76-63, Monday night. The Raiders are now 0-3 this season.

• UWM and Colgate have never met.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Men's Basketball Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Texas State

Gameday In Fort Worth

Week two of the NIT Season Tipoff has sent the Milwaukee Panthers to the state of Texas for matchups with Texas State and Colgate. Monday's game comes against TSU.

First of all, I'm not sure who we paid off at the NIT, but they sure are getting us good weather on these road trips. Sunny and 70 today in Fort Worth - another welcome respite with snow showers in Milwaukee forecasts for later this week.

Secondly, two thumbs up for downtown Fort Worth. I'm sure it seems even nicer with the weather being what it is, but it is a nice downtown with plenty of restaurants and such. The hotel downtown is beautiful and the team enjoyed a little Texas barbeque at Risky's last night just across from the hotel. That followed practice on the TCU campus after the trip down in the late morning. Today included some film work from Saturday's game against Hillsdale and the scouting report on Texas State.

On the court, the Panthers are looking for their second win in a row while Texas State is trying to snap a three-game losing streak. I talked a little bit to Daron Sutton - who as you know lives in Phoenix and works some Arizona State games during the season - and he had the chance to see Texas State in person when the Bobcats faced Arizona State in an earlier NIT game. His general report was that TSU struggled against Arizona State - no surprise - but that they did have some individually talented players. Scoring doesn't seem like it has been a big problem for TSU until Saturday's loss at New Orleans, when the Bobcats scored just 55 points. They put up 102 against Howard Payne and 82 against Cal State Northridge. And, reasonably, with the defense Arizona State plays, the 62 points in that contest wasn't all bad, either.

I will have a live blog rolling shortly, plus you can catch Bill Johnson's call on WISN (AM 11300) online through WISN's website. I am not sure yet about live stats, but I'll put an update on the live blog if I get one.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Recapping The Title Match

Where to even begin in trying to put together a notebook and summary of this weekend’s Horizon League Volleyball Tournament in Cleveland? The Panthers completed a stunning turnaround by winning three matches this weekend to claim the league title and return to the NCAA Tournament.

First, it probably should be noted one more time that the fact UWM got to this weekend - and into the third seed no less - did seem light-years away after the five-match losing streak that was early October. But, in some ways, that accomplishment might pale in comparison to how well the Panthers played the last two days when it really mattered. Not only did UWM beat both Valpo and Cleveland State, but it had some immensely dominating stretches.

This means UWM has now won either the league regular season or tournament title for 13-straight years. That is an amazing run of supremacy. Milwaukee is also in the NCAA Tournament for the eighth time. The Panthers will undoubtedly get a difficult first-round foe – UWM will have one of the lowest RPI’s in the field this year – but not only get more practice time but a chance to test how far they have come against one of the best teams in the nation.

Some other notes and thoughts on the way to Texas for two men’s basketball games in the NIT …

- UWM is now 23-8 all-time in the Horizon League Tournament. The Panthers' sixth title is the most in league history, breaking a tie with Loyola (five titles).

- Lauren Felsing was named the tournament’s most valuable player and was joined on the all-tournament team by Maddie Sueppel and Natalie Schmitting.

- Felsing now has 1,905 career digs – the only Panther to ever go over 1,900. She also finishes off her matchups with league opponents having reached double figures in digs in 55-straight contests against the league.

- She also has 548 digs this season, second on UWM's single-season list to the 645 she tallied last season.

- Lauren Hintze had a collegiate-best 20 digs in today’s match. Once again, UWM put five players in double digits for digs. Morgan Potter was in double figures in digs twice on the weekend – including against CSU - joining regulars Kellye Zaporski, Jena Berg, Hintze and Felsing Sunday.

- How good was UWM’s defense on the weekend – particularly Saturday and Sunday – and just how important was it? Milwaukee’s opponents tallied 10 more kills than the Panthers did in the three matches, but UWM had 10 more blocks and 18 more digs. The Panthers forced 61 hitting errors Saturday and Sunday.

- Natalie Schmitting was a huge part of that defense at the net. The junior now has 376 total blocks, putting her fifth on UWM's all-time list and within 43 of the top spot in school history.

- Zaporski now has 2,313 career assists, up to fourth on UWM's all-time list.

- UWM has now beaten Cleveland State 31 of the last 34 meetings between the two teams, including in the last two league title matches. A Valpo upset of Milwaukee two seasons ago at the Klotsche Center is the only thing that kept today’s match from marking the third-straight year of a UWM/CSU final.

Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Cleveland State - Horizon League Championship

Previewing The Final

UWM will look to continue its amazing run through the second half of the season when it squares off with Cleveland State in the Horizon League Tournament title match here in Cleveland this afternoon. The match will get underway at 1 p.m. EST/12 p.m. CST.

I will again have a live blog – internet connection permitting! – and you can follow via both gametracker and live video on the Horizon League Network.

This should be a very entertaining match between what have proven to be the two best teams in the league. Both teams have followed a similar path a year apart. CSU was the big favorite last year, only to stumble during the regular season but come on during the tournament. UWM was the big favorite this year but had to dig out of a big hole at the midway point of the season to get to this point.

Now, a few additional pregame (and postmatch from yesterday) notes …

- Milwaukee is seeking its sixth league tournament title and its eighth NCAA Tournament berth.

- The Panthers are making their eighth appearance in the tournament title match.

- UWM enters the contest with a 10-match winning streak. The Panthers have had a winning streak of seven or more matches in 13-straight season.

- UWM and Cleveland State split their two regular season matches, with each team winning on its homecourt. The Panthers were swept in Cleveland before claiming a four-set win at the Klotsche Center.

- Overall, UWM owns a 34-7 edge in the series with wins in 30 of the last 33 meetings between the two teams.

- Lauren Felsing had 15 digs to move past Becky Peters atop UWM’s all-time digs list. Felsing now has 1,889 digs, giving her a great chance to become the first-ever Panther to collect 1,900 digs in a Division I career.

- Natalie Schmitting’s 11 blocks Saturday marked a collegiate-high.

- The 17 total blocks were the best in a three-set match this season for the Panthers. UWM actually had 16 blocks in a four-set win over Valpo a week ago and 15 in the five-set loss at Valpo in October.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Live Volleyball Blog - Milwaukee vs. Valparaiso

Semifinal Showdown

The UWM volleyball team looks to keep its hopes alive for another Horizon League title and NCAA Tournament berth when it takes on Valparaiso this afternoon in Cleveland in the league tournament semifinals.

As I write, the hosts from Cleveland State have jumped all over UIC in the first semifinal, winning 25-11. UWM's match will follow, with the start time set for 3:30 pm EST/2:30 pm CST.

I will have another live blog for the match today, and you can follow stats via gametracker and live video through the Horizon League Network. But, first, some prematch notes ...

- Jena Berg's 21 kills and 24 digs yesterday made Berg the first Panther player to collect a 20-20 effort since Jamie Gabrielsen did it in the 2007 season. Berg's 21 kills marked a collegiate high.

- Lauren Felsing had 26 digs yesterday and now has 1,874 career digs. That is just one away from tying and two away from overtaking Becky Peters at the top of UWM's all-time list.

- The Panthers had five players reach double figures in kills yesterday and have now hit better than .200 in six-straight matches.

- Milwaukee had 105 digs, the fifth time this season the Panthers have tallied 100 or more digs. UWM also winds up with 308 digs in three matches against Green Bay this season.

- UWM is now 3-4 in five-set matches this season. It's actually three wins in a row in five-setters after the Panthers dropped their first four extended matches of the season.

- The Panthers have now reached the semifinals of the league tournament in all 14 of their tournament appearances.

- UWM and Valpo split during the regular season, with each team winning on its homecourt. UWM's win came just last weekend, while its loss came in five sets in the middle of its five-match losing skid.

- Milwaukee and Valpo have met once before in the league tournament, with Valpo winning in four sets at the Klotsche Center two years ago.

- UWM has now won nine-straight matches overall.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Green Bay

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Live Blog - Milwaukee vs. Indiana State

Gameday #2 In Baton Rouge

Normally I post the full set of game notes on the main site, but in these two-games-in-two-days scenarios, it is more common to just do some quick updates on key things. So, here are a few of those things of note heading into today's matchup with Indiana State ...

• A.J. Slaughter’s 30 points in Monday's game marked the first performance of 30-or-more points against UWM since November of 2006, when Giordan Watson of Central Michigan scored 30 in a win over the Panthers.

• Milwaukee placed five players in double figures in the contest with Western Kentucky, paced by 13 points from James Eayrs. UWM last had five players reach double figures in a loss to North Dakota State in February.

• UWM made 9-of-26 from three-point range in the loss. The Panthers are now 12-of-50 from distance over the first two games of the season.

• The Panthers have been a very good rebounding team in recent seasons and that trend is continuing early in the 2009-10 campaign. UWM had 13 offensive boards in Monday’s loss, with James Eayrs collecting four and Deonte Roberts grabbing three. Milwaukee has 31 offensive rebounds in its first two games.

• Sophomore Tony Meier scored 10 points Monday night and has now reached double figures in the first two games of the season for the second-straight year. He has 10 double-figure scoring efforts in his career.

• Milwaukee and Indiana State have met seven previous times, with the Sycamores winning five of the seven matchups. The last meeting also came in Louisiana, with UWM claiming a 71-59 victory in the University Hoops Classic in New Orleans in 2002.

• UWM could be getting its only crack of the season at a Missouri Valley Conference foe, with a second matchup still possible in this season’s BracketBusters event. The Panthers snapped a nine-game losing streak to teams from the Valley with an 86-74 win over Bradley last December.

• Regardless of Tuesday’s outcome, the Panthers will play in an NIT consolation bracket at a site to be determined next Monday and Tuesday.

Again today, I'll work on a live blog from the scorers' table, there will be live stats via LSU's website and you can listen to Bill Johnson's call on WISN (AM 1130) or online at

Monday, November 16, 2009

Live MBB Blog - Milwaukee vs. Western Kentucky

Gameday In Baton Rouge

The sun is shining in Louisiana and the Panthers are ready to begin the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tipoff Tournament against Western Kentucky this afternoon. The game tips off at 4:30 p.m. CST.

The Panthers flew down on a charter from Milwaukee to Baton Rouge yesterday, and got a few hours of rest and relaxation in the 78-degree weather before practice last night at the Maravich Center. With that late practice and an early tipoff today, there is no shootaround for the Panthers, who will go through the scouting report and pregame meal here at the hotel before heading over to the arena about 2:30.

Tom Enlund from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is here with us and has a nice preview of today's game in the paper and online here.

If you want to check out a little more on Western Kentucky, you can find a website game preview here or an article in the Louisville Courier Journal here. If you want to read a little more about the hosts from LSU, here is an article from the New Orleans paper this morning. Something on Indiana State from the Terre Haute newspaper is here.

For your gameday enjoyment, Bill Johnson will, of course, have the radio call on WISN (AM 1130) beginning at 4:15. You can also listen to Bill here. It also looks like LSU will have live stats for today's game, with a full list of the live events here.

Finally, I do plan to do a live blog during the game, as well. I'll have it linked from this entry as well as from the main site when we get to the arena.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

What The Magazines Are Saying

As we get set to officially tip off the men's basketball season Friday night, it seems like a good time to review what the various preseason publications have said about the Panthers, the Horizon League and some of this season's opponents.

Now, take a lot of this for what it is worth - speculation compiled in the middle of the summer. Most of these magazines file stories in June or July, and rarely return to check for any sort of update. So, things certainly change for a lot of teams in that time. But, the compilation of predictions still provides a nice snapshot.

The Sporting News has UWM finishing third in the Horizon League, behind Butler and Wright State. Butler is 14th in the country, according to the publication. The magazine also has Tone Boyle on its all-league team.

Athlon Sports also has UWM third, with Butler #1 and Wright State #2. It predicts a Sweet 16 appearance for Butler, which it has ranked 12th in the country. And, the publication has Tone on its all-league team.

Athlon also has Western Kentucky and Wisconsin in the NCAA Tournament with Marquette in the NIT. It also says the with the addition of transfer Jake Kelly, Indiana State might have the best backcourt in the Valley.

Finally, there is Yahoo, which actually put out a magazine this season. It ranked every Division I team, putting UWM at #63 in the nation. Butler is 11, Wisconsin 40 and Western Kentucky 52. The next highest Horizon League team is Wright State at 71. Among other non-league opponents, LSU is 65, Marquette is 83, Miami is 133 and Bowling Green is 136.

Yahoo also put two Panthers on its 10-player all-league team, with Tone Boyle on the first team and James Eayrs on the second team.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Catch Some Horizon League Action

If you have the right combination of TV stations, you can check out some of the Horizon League's men's basketball teams in action over the next week.

Tonight, Detroit plays at Cal at 10 pm central on ESPNU. Then Friday, if you have access to a few additional channels, Loyola's game with Kansas State is on ESPN Full Court and Fox Sports Midwest, Youngstown's game with Xavier is on Fox Sports Ohio and Wright State's game at Washington is on Fox Sports Northwest. Sunday, Valpo's game vs. North Carolina is on Fox Sports South. If you want to fast-forward all the way to next Wednesday, Butler's game at Northwestern is on the Big Ten Network.

As always, these TV plans are subject to change ... for example right now my Direct TV guide has an NHL game on FSN Ohio Friday night, but YSU's website notes the telecast on the network.

There is actually plenty of Horizon League basketball on TV throughout the season, especially if you are a subscriber to ESPN Full Court and any sort of satellite sports pack that includes the various FSN affiliates. And, by the way, that ESPN Full Court schedule is far from set or complete, including word on which UWM games the network will pick up for its package.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Rising To The Top...

The NCAA announced its statistical leaders Monday and it is official:
- Sarah Hagen leads the nation with 24 goals and 1.200 per game.
- Kate Megna leads the nation with 16 assists and 0.84 per game.

Hagen is also third in the country with 53 points and with a 2.65 point-per-game average.

As the season progresses, the pair gives Milwaukee a chance at its first national statistical champion in women's soccer.

Hagen has scored one more goal than any other player in Division I, but the NCAA bases champions on per game averages. There, her lead is 0.033 over Portland's Danielle Foxhaven (21 goals, 18 games - 1.167 per game).

For Megna, the gap is wider. She has one more assist than second place, but in two less games. Her average of 0.84 is 0.12 better than that of James Madison's Teresa Rynier (15 assists, 21 games - 0.72 per game).

Since 1998, no team in NCAA Division I women's soccer has had the No. 1 goal scorer and No. 1 assist player in the same season.

The Panthers have posted recent statistical champions in baseball and men's soccer. Mike Goetz led the nation in batting average for the baseball team in 2005, while Grant Fernstrum topped the charts in goals against average in 2005.

Third Coast Digest Piece

Third Coast Digest wrote posted an article on the women's soccer experience at Milwaukee. You can see the article here.

TCD is not a sports website and, from what I can tell, covers little sports. The article is classified as "Sports Aesthetics" and captures the experience of attending a women's soccer game at Engelmann Field.

The Panther women captured their sixth Horizon League Tournament championship over the weekend, capping the title with a 4-0 win over Valparaiso Sunday. The team now awaits word on a first round opponent in its seventh trip to the NCAA Tournament. UWM is gathering to watch the selection show at Harry's Bar and Grill on Oakland Avenue, less than a mile off campus.

The event is open to the public.