Second half heroes storm back, topple NKU in second frame

Markeith Browning defends Marques Warrick in the home battle earlier this season

Your Milwaukee Panthers battled back from oblivion (again) and prevailed.

To begin the game, Northern Kentucky forced a couple turnovers and empty possessions and quickly went up 7-0. Milwaukee (15-7, 9-3 Horizon) had starting PG Elijah Jamison man the point briefly after which Markeith Browning and Justin Thomas tried their hand, but nothing seemed to work. It didn't help that our defense was allowing uncontested 3s and post looks for much of the first half.

Things stayed about even between these teams, until things completely imploded for the Panthers on both sides of the ball in the final 12 minutes of the 1st half. We got utterly decimated inside and out and the Norse led by twenty (47-27) entering the break. But hope stayed alive. The team came together. And the rebounds and assists missing in the first half were there in spades in the second. And what a difference it did make.

This increasingly resilient Panther team chipped all the way back to tie things at 62 on a Zach Howell jumper and then take the lead when it matters most- the end. BJ Freeman (23pts, 9ast, 4reb) was everywhere per usual but unusually he had no 3-balls in this game and he found his scoring by attacking the hoop and going 17-17 on FTs. Freeman (23pts, 9ast, 4reb) continues to excel as Milwaukee's most prolific scorer, and now assist-getter (had 11 assists in his double-double against Youngstown State).

Never say never with the '22-'23 Milwaukee Panthers

Chip, chip. Chip, chip, chip. No NKU player could staunch the unrelenting flood of Milwaukee points. After the Panther lead built up to five at 75-70 and with about 40 seconds left, a  Marques Warrick steal and a costly Milwaukee turnover almost gave the game back to NKU, allowing the Norse to score 4 points in rapid succession to bring the score to 75-74 with just over 9 seconds left.

As the Norse closed in on their final offensive set, Marques Warrick found an almost-open 3-look. But Markeith Browning (who was responsible for the late botched inbound that was part of NKU's final 1-2 punch) jumped up and made a memorable, monster block to thwart Darrin Horn's designs and secure this tough road victory in Highland Heights, Kentucky. After all was done, we held on and won, 75-74.

43.1%,  26.7%,  84.4%
38.6%,  24.2%,  80.0% (NKU)

Milwaukee finishes this stretch of road games next week, Thursday at IUPUI. It's an odd scheduling quirk and the game actually starts at 10am in the morning but will be streaming as always through ESPN+.

The incredible and most distinguished feature of these '22-'23 Milwaukee Panthers is that they don't quit. Against UC Davis, Wright State (2x almost) and today proves clearly that no matter the odds or the deficit, if there is a reasonable amount of time left and you slip even just a little- they'll make you pay.

Coalescing around T-E-A-M: we are sharing the ball (11 Panthers scored today including guys like VBJ and Angelo Stuart who haven't seen a ton of time yet) and we are playing to win until the very last buzzer sounds. This is a still-growing but most-watchable college basketball team.

Today was just the most recent in a number of Panther victories won on late, epic comeback heroics. Let's hope we don't need to pull out these kind of rabbit-in-a-hat scenarios too often. But doesn't it feel good to know the magic is there at the ready and that Milwaukee Panther Hoops is alive and well again- finally- after a ~7 year hiatus. 💫

go panthers  
stack good days.