Panthers win eighth straight game taking down Purdue Fort Wayne

MILWAUKEE (UWM Panthers) - Brandi Bisping and Megan Walstad each recorded a double-double as the Milwaukee women's basketball team dominated the second half for a 64-33 win over Purdue Fort Wayne. Bisping and Walstad combined for 27 points and 22 rebound in the victory.

Saturday's game marked the first time two Panthers recorded a double-double since February 15, 2018 when Jenny Lindner (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Bisping (10 points, 11 rebounds) each accomplished the feat.

"Our defense shined again tonight," head coach Kyle Rechlicz stated. "I'm so proud of our team for the hustle and the mentality they have and the pride they take on the defensive end. Every time we step out on the court, they have this sense of getting a stop.

The defense was suffocating, holding Purdue Fort Wayne (0-10, 0-8 Horizon League) to just 33 points, second fewest allowed in program history. The Mastodons converted just 10 field goals, tied for fewest allowed in a game in program history.

"From a defensive perspective, they did an excellent job on Riley Ott. I was really proud of them," Rechlicz continued. "She's a great player in our league. They kept her in front and did a really good job of contesting. Then our post players cleaned up the boards. They were all over the boards. Having two players with double-doubles is a pretty incredible feat."

It was a tough offensive half for both squads as neither shot better than 33.3 percent from the floor, but it was Milwaukee (11-1, 8-0 Horizon League) that came out hot after the break.

The Panther shot 68.8 percent (11-for-16) from the field in the third quarter led in large part by Walstad. The redshirt sophomore dominated with 10 points on 4-for-7 shooting in the third alone before finishing with 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Defensively, Milwaukee held PFW to just two field goals in the third as they sprinted out to a 25-point advantage.

With a big lead once again, Rechlicz trusted her bench to close it out and they didn't disappoint. The Panthers continued to hold, allowing the Mastodons to shoot just 3-for-12 from the floor.

Macy McGlone tallied six points in the fourth while Emma Wittmershaus and Angie Cera added four apiece.

Joining Bisping and Walstad in double digits was McKaela Schmelzer, who finished a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor for 12 points to go with three rebounds and three assists.

"She's so capable. That's what's really neat about her as a point guard," Rechlicz said about Schmelzer. She can be an assist-giver, she can be a scorer when you need her. And she's always a defender."

Bisipng did much of her work in the first half as she finished the opening 20 minutes with 12 points and nine rebounds before finishing with 15 points and 12 rebounds.

"Brandi's toughness – the whole game. She was our leader the whole game," Rechlicz said.

Milwaukee will remain at home as they welcome Cleveland State to the Klotsche Center next weekend. The Panthers will tipoff at 11:00 am on both Friday, January 15 and Saturday, January 16. Live coverage links can be found on MKEPanthers.com.

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