PREVIEW: Women’s basketball travels to Milwaukee

Photo+Credit%3A+Thomas+Ognibene

Photo Credit: Thomas Ognibene

By Tyler Gallo, Copy Editor

MILWAUKEE– The women’s basketball team (0-2, 0-2 Horizon) heads to the Badger State this weekend when they take on the Milwaukee Panthers (5-1, 2-0 Horizon). Both games are matinees on Saturday and Sunday, with tip-off set for 12:00 p.m. on ESPN+. The two teams are meeting for the first time in history, adding some incentive for early bragging rights.

Recapping RMU

RMU is in search of a rebound performance after they were handled by Northern Kentucky (2-4, 2-0 Horizon) in their Horizon League debut, dropping game one 61-33 and game two 62-50. Megan Callahan was the points leader in a series where the team struggled shooting, averaging 7.5 points through the first two games. RMU had to adjust to being thrust immediately into conference play, and it showed after their two performances. Expect a much better Colonials team in this series.

Scouting Milwaukee

Milwaukee hosts the Colonials on a hot streak to start their season, winning five of their first six games including two in their first conference series of the season, sweeping Green Bay (1-4, 0-2 Horizon) at Green Bay. Three Panthers reached double-digit points in the first game, a 61-58 victory, and Megan Walstad stole the show in game two, dropping 19 points in a 59-51 victory. The Panthers were defensively solid in these two games, which will be a tough task for the Colonials to bypass.

Players to Watch

Megan Callahan (RMU)

Callahan shot superbly from outside the arc in the NKU series, shooting 5-7 from behind the line and 5-11 overall. If Callahan gets the open space, she will likely score as evidenced by her three-point performance in the series, averaging 7.5 points and leading the Colonials in that category. Callahan is looking to regain her form from her rookie season, where she averaged 9.0 points-per-game after she missed most of her sophomore season due to injury and was used mostly as a reserve during her junior season. Keep your eyes on Callahan from outside the three-point line.

Sol Castro (RMU)

Castro was held in check during her first Colonials action, but will only continue to improve in the frontcourt as the Colonials’ starting center this season. She only grabbed five total rebounds and shot 3-12 in the series, but as the native of Spain gets more acclimated to the team, she will break out. Watch out for her during this series.

Megan Walstad (UWM)

Walstad is far and away the Panthers’ leader on offense on the young season. The redshirt sophomore started the season inauspiciously, averaging 6.5 points in the first two games of the season before rattling off four consecutive games of double-digit points including 19 in the second Green Bay game. After sitting out last season as a redshirt and averaging 10.7 points in her freshman season in 2018, the former Horizon League All-Freshman honoree will look to continue to be the Panthers’ best offensive option in this series.

Sydney Staver (UWM)

While Walstad is the clear first option on offense, Staver is right there as a second option for the Panthers. The senior guard missed the first two games this season, but in her return, she did not miss a beat, scoring double-digit points in the first three and dropping seven in the most recent contest. Through four games, she is averaging 11.8 points and 2.5 rebounds for Milwaukee. Walstad and Staver are a 1-2 punch that will need to be stifled for the Colonials to have a chance in this series.

Prediction

I think RMU rebounds from their first series performance and splits the series with Milwaukee, dropping the first game 63-58 and winning the second game 57-51.