Milwaukee bounces back, defeats Detroit in second half battle

Last night we bounced back in a big way. And we had 1,768 witnesses.

Milwaukee fans, we're back.

Your Milwaukee Panthers were in war mode and knew they couldn't drop this home game and let their storybook season start to slip.

Milwaukee (17, 11-4 Horizon) came out of the locker room "guns a'blazing" last night and stormed out to a 17 point lead before Detroit could get any kind of handle on our (excellent this game) ball movement. Rand provided several ESPN highlight-worthy dunks, our shooters were on fire, and Elijah Jamison and Justin Thomas manned the (troublesome) Panther PG position with great results. 

Everything was working in the first half and fortunately for us, DMU's Antoine Davis (#2 behind Pistol Pete Maravich in all-time collegiate scoring) was relatively quite in the first half. Milwaukee led the Titans 50-31 going into the break. Panther fans were all chuckles and high-fives. "This", we thought to ourselves, "may be a cake walk, after all".

It wasn't; that 19 point lead wouldn't last long.

The second half was a very different story. The Panthers couldn't continue to stop Detroit's Antoine Davis (42pts, 5reb, 4ast). And so Davis, true to form, just started sniping field goals from all over the court while being double teamed.

Davis racked up 42 points. Detroit's Greg Liddell and AJ Oliver also became pesky thorns in the Panthers' side and the three of them quickly got Detroit right back in the game. Coming all the way back from down 19, DMU would not just tie the game, but briefly take the lead with just a few minutes remaining. But another Panther home loss was not to be. The Milwaukee defense stepped up in a big way and denied the Titans' comeback effort.

Almost another 3pt/Foul Decision: Milwaukee was up by 3 with 10 seconds left and almost had another chance to send an opponent's shooter to the line versus allowing him to hit a game-tying triple (what bit us in the loss to Green Bay). But the Panther defense turned it over(!), Justin Thomas got fouled and calmly sunk the free throws to effectively secure the victory, 94-89 and send Detroit home with a loss. Youngstown State now holds onto first place in the Horizon by just a half game; Milwaukee is in second place.

"We did just enough" -Coach Lundy


The Panthers had an outstanding shooting performance against Detroit- especially from the perimeter. The team shot 10-23 from the 3pt line. If we can get anywhere close to this (ie. ~40% or above) we will continue to win and will have a chance to keep playing deep into March.

Attendance was down since the clunker game vs. GB, but the Arena was louder (a loud, active student section is a game-changer)

BJ Freeman (26pts, 10ast) led the way with another huge double-double- he might as well be our PG1 at this point. Rand (15pts, 8reb, 4blk), Pullian (15pts, 6reb, 4ast), Browning II (17pts, 6reb, 6ast) and Bol (10pts) rounded out the rest of the vanguard of Milwaukee's offensive attack and defense.

Side note: My opinion counts for nothing, obviously- I am a middle-age armchair point guard who hasn't played organized basketball since junior high. But I've seen a lot of Horizon and mid-major matchups and I call for (hope for), like a few other Panther fans have advocated, at least 1 rotation experiment with both Rand and Bol in the front court; I don't think any opponent could get close to the rim- all attempts blocked in automatic, clock-work fashion like a Spam email.

One can hope, no? At some point Rand and Bol, "the Two Towers" on the floor will happen.. No?

But alas, we gotta trust the coaches and #LundyMagic. They've gotten the Panthers close to 20 wins for the first time in 7 years. They quite obviously know what they are doing.


FG       3PT       FT

58.2%, 46.2%, 69.2%

40.0%, 40.0%, 87.5%

Injury Update: Markeith Browning went down hard with a rolled ankle (no break, so he should be back before too long- hopefully by March and the HLT or sooner).

The stage is now set for the next big conference game versus Greg Kampe and the Oakland Grizzlies at the Arena this Saturday, 6pm CST. Be there or tune in. It's time to exact revenge for the beatdown we suffered in Rochester Hills, MI earlier this season.

go panthers  
stack good days.