Panthers go cold, lose fourth straight game at Wright State

FAIRBORN, Ohio (MILWAUKEE ATHLETICS) – It was a back-and-forth first half, but the shots were not falling after the break for the Milwaukee women's basketball team as it fell 56-49 to Wright State on Saturday afternoon.

"It's been a struggle for us shooting percentage-wise for a little while," head coach Kyle Rechlicz commented. "We're getting a lot of shots up and hitting a lot of shots in practice, but the rim looks a little smaller when playing in games."

The Panthers (15-5, 12-4 Horizon League) finished just 6-for-27 (22.2 percent) from the floor in the second half but kept it close at the line, hitting 10 of 11 attempts.

Milwaukee came out with a strong energy in the first half as seven different players scored for the Panthers. The two teams fought to five ties and nine lead changes before a late layup from Kendall Nead had MKE up three at the half.

The Panthers continued to fight off Wright State (13-5, 13-3 Horizon League) early in the third quarter behind a three-pointer from Megan Walstad and another bucket from Nead at the 5:20 mark but then a drought hit.

Milwaukee could not get a field goal to fall until the 1:03 mark in the fourth quarter.

Wright State's lead reached 10 with 6:40 to go, but despite not hitting from the floor, Milwaukee kept it close at the line. Four straight free throws from Sydney Staver and Brandi Bisping pulled MKE within six where the advantage hovered for the next two minutes.

Bisping hit another from the charity stripe to make it 52-47 but it was too little, too late for Milwaukee as Wright State's Angel Baker closed out the game with four straight free throws.

Bisping and Walstad fought in the paint, totaling 21 points and 20 rebounds for Milwaukee.

"I think our post players came out today with so much heart," Rechlicz said. "Today, we did a much better job of holding them off the glass. I was just proud of the heart they put together."

Nead provided a solid spark off the bench once again for the Panthers, finishing with seven points, two rebounds, and one assist.

"Kendall is always a confident player. I'm really happy for her and how she's playing," Rechlicz said. "She's putting herself in a position to become a great player."

Milwaukee finished shooting just 26.3 percent from the field but did knock down 15 of 17 free throws (88.2 percent).

The Panthers will return to the Klotsche Center next weekend as they host Oakland for a two-game series beginning on Friday, February 12. 

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