Youngstown Payback; CSU Gets a Taste of Milwaukee's Best

In another perfectly scripted basketball contest, the once- "oh-so-lowly" Milwaukee Panthers emerged victorious, 76-69 over the Youngstown State Penguins at home inside the friendly glimmer dim of the US Cellular arena. An astounding 5 Panthers scored in double figures (Marcus Skinner "doubled it up" (16pts, 12rbs), Paige Paulsen (14pts, 4-6 3pt, 9rbs), Ricky Franklin (10pts, 7rbs), Deonte Roberts (12pts, 7rbs), and Deion James(10pts, 4ast). Stop and think about those numbers for a bit (granted, yes "this years' YSU team"), but that is just frigging ridiculous.

Paige Paulsen has seemingly become a perpetual flame of an offensive spark for this scorching hot group. Paige got the troops rallied early, shwapping down triple after triple, on his way to 17 before halftime. However to a T, and in keeping with the superhuman play we have seen from these loyal heroes these past 10, the rest of the team didn't even didn't need that much inspiration to follow his lead. This Panther squad was not to be stopped easily , even by the mightiest of Horizon League contenders as we shall see(n).......... Farewell, oh Penguins. May thee march on back to Ohio safely, and come back next year to fight the better Penguin fight.

The Cleveland State game was easily the biggest game of the year (seeing as how the Butler game, notwithstanding being played at the tail end of a grueling road trip, was too early in our run of decent success for anyone to really expect victory from us). And so, with grace and grit, in front of some very raucous home fans, Milwaukee humbled the Vikings of Cleveland for the second time in the former league leader's last two games.

Get this- again a whole lineup of 5 Panthers scored more than 9 points. Who? The exact same players. And to add praise to good fortune- Paige and Marcus both- both recorded double-doubles. With each sweet victory, it seems to be more and more evident, that what we have (left) here in Milwaukee is a force that, when at their best (-er the last 10 games) is a force not to be reckoned with.

The Panthers walked out of the Arena and over to Major Goolsby's (the official post-game Panther Basketball place-to-be) having won 9 of their last 10 and most importantly, grinning from ear to ear knowing they just cracked the Bronze spot in the Horizon, knocked CSU out of first, and put the jockeying for position in the HL championship, as well as the season standings up grabs (only Detroit is all but out- 7th place UIC is a respectable 10-10). Great job Milwaukee; way to show Cleveland State just how much a loyal band of unflinchingly determined teammates (and more importantly, friends) is capable of.

UWM is on the road again, playing at Detroit on Thursday night, and then at the ever-challenging environs of the Nutter Center (just ask Butler.....) to face the Wright State Raiders Saturday night. Both games will be a good test of the longevity of this inexplicable prolonged reign of rightness the Panthers are enjoying.

The Titans and Raiders were both victims to UWM's 'we are the come back kids' campaign before this all started in full. They won't be happy to see us, for certain. And seeing as how these games are now on their turf, I don't expect a win to be easily pulled from either battle. The Panthers just have to remember who they are. Forget who they were trying to be early on.

For those who may still be skeptical or on the fence, I strongly recommend you- come out to the home games we have left. Bring a friend and family member or 5. They'll thank you for the invitation. Right now, Milwaukee Panther Basketball is best show in town for my money. And as hard as it is to believe, the most exciting chapters of this story are yet to be written.