Milwaukee Looks to Make Another Charge with Victory Over North Dakota State, 84-73

For the first time in a long time, I completely missed this Panther basketball game. It was only on radio, yes, but I was happily celebrating one of my friend's marriage to a great gal, and so I had to forget about whether we might drop a third straight out there in the cold wilderness of North Dakota... and just hope for the best.

So admittedly, other than a link to the boxscore, I've not much to say about this one, other than that I am happy that we won- in a fairly convincing fashion too, it seems.

Ricky Franklin (23pts, 6rbs, 4ast, 2stl) had his biggest game of the year so far and James Eayrs (15pts, 5rbs, 3ast) didn't have too a bad of a homecoming (though a Minnesota native, James played Juco ball at North Dakota State College of Science).

So... I guess we are all guardedly optimistic. 7-4 (1-1) is by no means a terrible record to have at this point in the season- but the disturbing trend in our inability to beat quality teams (NDSU is only 4-5 against some pretty average competition) is keeping a lingering sense of skepticism very close to most Panther fans' minds.

I'll keep this short and sweet- we have a big game this Saturday vs. Miami (OH). The Redhawks are exactly the type of team that this season's Panthers should absolutely be able to beat (if we are to have any kind of success and/or improvement over last season).

We may toss-up (-er usually lose against) the Butlers, and Marquettes, and Wisconsins, and Western Kentuckys of this year- but we badly need to win against Miami (OH) this Saturday night.

Miami (OH) sits at the bottom of the MAC at 3-7, but they just beat Wright State over the weekend (56-55). According to their season stats, these guys don't seem to score a lot of points (62.9ppg), but they have played a tough schedule and are likely to provide us with competition a lot more to similar to Western Kentucky than to Texas State.

I still believe in this team. If I were as naieve as I was when I started this blog I'd be outraged by all of the sighs and rolled eyes I've seen when discussing this team with fellow Panther fans lately. But having seen seasons unfold game-by-game-by-success-by-failure, these days- I understand.

Earlier in the Summer and Fall of 2009, we had big (if not unrealistic) expectations for a team that, despite a 7-4 record, has not proven themselves all that much- if at all (they certainly haven't yet distinguished themselves from last year's team who beat a ranked Butler on our home floor).

But we've got another streak going, and if this Milwaukee team can just get that first big game- that first domino to fall....... the other big ones won't seem as daunting. But better yet- "champion" will start to sound less like a foreign term and more like a clarion call to arms.

For momentum, for hometown's sake, for the season, and most of all, for the love of the fan base. WIN THIS GAME PANTHERS!!!!