HLT Quarterfinal: #2 Milwaukee fresh coasts, takes down #7 Wright State, 87-70

BJ Freeman and the Panthers survive to continue the season; up next is CSU (Credit: Journal-Sentinel)

1 down and 2+ to go.

Your Milwaukee Panthers packed the K last night and put a hooping clinic on display in front of our bewildered Raider guests. From the jump ball, things got going merrily as the Panthers jumped out to a 12-0 lead on 2 BJ Freeman triples and a couple Jalen Johnson (new!) post moves.

Jalen Johnson had a career night scoring 10, grabbing 5 boards and racking up 3 steals. Johnson gets a lot of criticism for not being aggressive enough in the low post; that seems to be changing as he progresses.

Freeman (28pts, 4stl) was the spark plug but he went down in the early minutes with an eye injury and had to get stitched up in the locker room which kept him out of most of the first half. Fortunately, this Milwaukee team has depth and so even sans Freeman, the Milwaukee Panthers coasted- all game.

"Wright State was never within single digits over the final 35 minutes of play." -Curt Hogg, Journal-Sentinel

KP kept the ship afloat by nailing precision threes and muscling big rebounds while Freeman was out. Pullian (15pts, 6reb, 3ast) is a deceptive force for Milwaukee as teams routinely write him off as a serious threat only to pay the price when they see how hard he plays on both ends of the floor and how well he can shoot.

Milwaukee entered the break up 45-27 and barely eased up on the gas pedal in the second frame. Textbook rebounding, screening, press breaking- these Panthers were on fire last night.

Whether played at the Arena or the K, this was going to be a victory; Panthers have momentum in March again... 😀

Without much of a Raider comeback effort (Tre Calvin did score 28 and had 4 steals), the fans simply enjoyed the show and waited for the time to expire and for our upcoming Semifinal opponent to be decided. Jamison dribbled the time away after WSU called off the auto-foul, and Milwaukee won, 87-70.

Milwaukee (21-10, 14-5) created a rollicking environment and the Milwaukee student section specifically made it hard for Wright State to get comfortable. Huge successful decision to play at the K and make it so loud as to be disorienting. I just hope we aren't done playing at the MECCA for good..

Elijah Jamison had a career night (19pts, 3reb, 3ast) and genuinely manned the point well. Freeman and JT also took some possessions as PG, but Elijah J is our PG of the future, and the future is now. Wayne Larivee commented how Jamison looks much more comfortable on the floor last night than he did early in the season.

Now self-assured of their abilities, these Milwaukee Panthers are running for a conference title and more.

FG         3PT       FT   

38.2%   30.8%   62.5%

50.7%   36.4%   78.6%

As an embodied dagger, the Panthers passed alley oops (3) to Ahmad Rand in the closing minutes which put probably the most emphatic stamp on a victory I've ever witnessed from the Panthers.

This was the most complete winning basketball we have played all season. At no point was our lead in question. After a season of last-second game decisions, it is nice to see this Milwaukee team just go out and win, drama free.

Your Milwaukee Panthers brought the energy back to campus Thursday night 

And so now we march to Indianapolis for the Horizon League Semifinal contest against Cleveland State this coming Monday night at 8:30pm CST on ESPN2. You never know how many times your team will experience a postseason run and these Panthers seem poised for a tournament title. Don't miss the journey.

The 2023 Horizon League Tourney is just the beginning...

go panthers  
stack good days.