I really tried to key in on relevance when I posted some of the top moments in the 2000s. I tried to line up a game against Green Bay with our game against Green Bay. The second moment of last week, which was actually posted this week, culminated with a win over the Phoenix in the league championship game.
This week’s (or the second this week but should really be the only one for this week) moment happened in the gym where the Panthers are played today (Saturday). The game I am referring to is Traci Edwards’ school-record 45-point outburst.
Edwards, in becoming the highest scoring woman in state of Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee or Horizon League history, posted two career 40-point games. As close in total points they were, the games had vastly different complexions.
In January of 2007 (Jan. 20 to be exact), Sandy Botham’s game plan against Cleveland State was to get the ball inside to Traci. And, the team executed wonderfully to the tune of 33 shot attempts for the Menasha, Wis., native. She finished the game 17-of-33 from the field with 42 points. For good measure, she added 16 rebounds and tied a school record with six blocked shots. Not her most efficient shooting night, but a sign of just how dominant the then-sophomore could be.
Fast forward one year, one month and one day. The Panthers are playing at Loyola and the game plan, while focused on Traci as per usual, is not intended to get her 33 shots. What does transpire is an efficient dismantling of the Rambler defense. Edwards got just 14 shots off from the field. She made 12, including her only three-point attempt. Any other night, her 25 points from the field would be a good night.
Not in this game.
Traci Edwards went to the free throw line an astonishing 22 times. Not to waste the opportunities, she made an equally astonishing 20 free throws to give her a Gentile Center record 45 points in the game. Three Loyola post players fouled out trying to guard Traci.
Every point was necessary, as both teams were on fire from the field, combining (COMBINING) to shoot over 59 percent from the field. The Panthers got by the Ramblers, 83-78, in one of the top-two* offensive performances in Milwaukee Basketball history (men’s or women’s).
* In case you are not aware, Von McDade dropped 50 points at Illinois in the early 90’s. He did have the advantage of overtime, but you could probably stage a competitive debate on which performance was better.