Panthers drop 1st contest in Bahamas Showcase to Rice, 75-69

No threes no way.

That seemed to be the case for your Milwaukee Panthers (4-2, 0-0) Friday afternoon vs. Rice.

Not our best game; gotta figure out how to win in the paint and away from the perimeter in general when it ain't raining

The first 20 minutes were a fast-paced, turnover-laden, mix of mid-major excellence and embarrassment. But it gradually became apparent that Rice- though like Milwaukee not at top flight- was just sinking more shots than Milwaukee and getting more 50/50s to be cliche but truthful.

The Owls from Houston ended the 1st half with an emphatic dunk in transition. We had a game, but the edge was clearly with Rice.

2nd half was more of the same. Rice just kept us at bay all game. We couldn't grab the lead and but for a couple of brief 2pt and 4pt lead closures, we played from behind and things didn't break our way. The shots were off. The fouls were untimely. We were sloppier than previous games; this was our first game away from home this season. We just didn't have a W in the cards for this one.

College hoops is fun to watch but let's be honest; it is for these kids, Panther students just like of the stars of the show

Robert Martin was shutting it down as the Owls led all game and Ako Adams led all scorers with 18pts.

35.2% 24.0% 61.9%
50.0% 34.8% 64.1%

And so it is. Rice will go on to play Liberty and we will face Morgan State.

For certain, not all was bad: DeAndre Abram had a great Friday afternoon (16pts, 7rbs) and the electric backcourt of Lucas/Roy/Thomas all scored in double figures. And despite it being our worst game statistically, we still had more than a few chances to win.

But it wasn't enough to offset the lack of makes from beyond (6-25 for 24% from 3pt) and personal fouls. And missed second-chances and second-chances given via lack of boards collected. We got out-rebounded 38-24. That very uneven ratio is a silent killer.

Let's hope tomorrow brings better fortunes from 3pt land and more boards

This Bahamas Showcase, unlike so many preseason tournaments is not just a tourney in name. If we can win tomorrow, we play on. Every W counts.

Tomorrow's tilt is set for 10am CST so wake up and cheer on these Panthers from afar or wherever you are. Morgan State is coming off a 9-21 (4-12) season.

We have 64% chance of winning according to kenpom.comSo that means 100% chance of having a chance to win, right? Every game.

Until tomorrow morning... The good news is: we don't have to wait long to get back in the W column..