Saturday, February 13, 2010

WBB Top Moments of the 2000s - Part 6

No list of top moments in the 2000s is complete without the most successful team in the program’s Division I history – 2005-06. That team featured a pair of senior leaders in Nichole Drummond and Molly O’Brien and a budding freshman star in Traci Edwards.

In comparing the team’s exploits to any other in the Division I history is simple. Their 22 wins and 22-9 record are school marks. The team won 17-of-19 after Jan. 1, including a school-record 12-straight. The Panthers shared the league regular season crown with Green Bay, but swept the Phoenix in the regular season to snag the No. 1 seed for the league tournament. Milwaukee then won the league tournament for the second time, doing so at the Klotsche Center, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second time.

UWM also shot a school-record 44.7 percent from the field that season, went 9-5 on the road and dished out a school-record 16.7 assists per game.

The season featured a number of exciting games for the team, including a thrilling 90-87 double-overtime win at Southeast Missouri State. UWM came back from 18 down in the second half to force overtime vs. Butler on New Year’s Eve. The Panthers scored 51 second-half points in a come-from-behind win at Northwestern.

That doesn’t even include the aforementioned regular season sweep of Green Bay for the first time in school history. The two wins came within nine days of each other and included a thrilling 69-67 nail-biter at the Phoenix Sports Center.

Then, there was the league tournament.

After getting by Loyola in the quarterfinals, the Panthers overcame an 11-point deficit with 7:28 remaining to beat Butler in the semifinals. O’Brien capped the rally when she pulled down a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for the decisive lay-in with 4.8 seconds remaining.

Edwards then provided one of the best all-around performances in school history in the title game win over UIC. She snagged tournament MVP Honors after scoring 24 points to go with eight rebounds and seven assists. Keep in mind she was a freshman center.