Panthers Relinquish Lead, Battle Back to Fend Off Falcons, 72-69

Your Milwaukee Panthers came storming out of the gates this Saturday evening against the Bowling Green Falcons. Despite Anthony Hill's conspicuous absence, we still seemed to have a great shot at not only winning this game, but winning it big. We quickly stretched the shutout lead to 10-0, before things slowly... began... to crumble (kinda like DePaul).

After a couple of Falcon runs brought Bowling Green within a couple of possessions, we seemed to lose control of the wheel in this one... We ended up heading into the locker room down 36-35 and the spirits of Panther fans were on edge.

The second half saw the Panthers let Bowling Green's lead stretch to 11 points before they began to strike back. With about 14 minutes left, your Milwaukee Panthers began to take the game back. Tone Boyle (22pts, 7-14 from 3pt) and Tony Meier (20pts, 5ast) dominated and kept inching us closer.. and then we had it. "It" being momentum- it carried us through to the end and thanks to a clutch free throw by Ryan Haggerty, we closed the game out with a relieving if not comfortable winning final margin.

Milwaukee (6-7, 1-1) put up some encouraging numbers offensively- 48% FG, 40% 3PT and 71% FT. It's surprising that we gave up as many points as we did as our D seemed more intense than I personally have ever seen them play this season. Let's hope the intensity eventually translate into some serious defensive success. The turnover battle (we lost 12-8) is probably the main factor to explain why this one was so unexpectedly close (Milwuakee was a 10.5pt favorite).

The Panthers resume Horizon League play after Christmas when they will go on the road to play Wright State (Dec. 30th) and then Detroit on New Year's Day. This team remains an enigma in many ways. They have proven they can play against good competition, but they have had nights (like tonight at times) that make you wonder how they can let lesser teams even get in the game against them.

Many things tonight were encouraging- Kaylon (7pts, 7rbs, 6ast, and onlt 2 turnovers) ran the point well. Tone poured it on as mentioned. I wish Ant would have been out there, but hopefully he'll be back after break. Tony Meier continues to assert himself- and folks who have prematurely given up on this season should remember Tony is still just a Junior..

So we are a single game under .500. We can get back to an even slate with a win on the road against a good Wright State (7-5, 0-1) team. We must control conference. League play is our last remaining hope to dominate and get to a significant winning record. And conference play will largely determine how well we can do (or how far we can go) in the Horizon League Tournament in March of next year...

Let's go. We've lost some time, but we can still turn the season around. Don't give up on this team. They may just find their rhythm- there are certainly challenges (UIC just beat #14 Illinois, CSU, and a teak named Butler..), but we can win games. We proved tonight for the first time this season, that yes, this team can come back from a deficit.

We need more of the fight that was clearly evident in the final 10 minutes. We need that kind of passion every game. The guys who can give us that will play- and we will win a LOT of games with a go hard 24/7 attitude. Until then.... we will tread water around .500 and remain on the outside of the Horizon League looking in.