Panthers catch heat, light up Ramblers

At one point in the second half the Klotsche Krazies, not happy with a call, started chanting “Take his whistle” at one of the referees. Had they known the result, they might have not been so hasty to jump on the officiating.

Milwaukee rode an 18-for-23 second half foul shooting spree to an eighteen-point victory over the Loyola Ramblers, 71-53.

Paris Gulley led the charge, shooting 13-for-16 from the charity stripe in the game and scoring 21 despite the Panthers’ shooting guard going a cold 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.

“Man it feels good to get the win,” head coach Rob Jeter said after the game.

It had been quite the stretch for Milwaukee, who hasn’t won since a January home game against Cleveland State. They weren’t going to let the sins of the second half betray them again.

“We just made sure that in the second half, we got the quality shots we wanted, got the ball in the post and tried to draw fouls and get to the line,” Jeter said after. It wasn’t just an offensive philosophy that worked for the Panthers.

JJ Panoske knocked seven shots off their course tonight, a school record in only his freshman season.

“He did a great job of helping out teammates. He may have had seven blocks, but he had about 12 or 13 altered shots,” Ryan Haggerty said after the game.

Milwaukee also got a big game out of Austin Arians, who had a big stretch where he slammed home two crowd-pleasing dunks and hit a big three to keep Loyola at arm’s length.

The first half wasn’t quite the offensive show for Milwaukee.

“We tried to be aggressive with attacking the press. We tried to see the floor and see the 45-degree angles. Sometimes we took some bad angles and created some turnovers, but overall I was pleased,” coach Jeter said of the team’s offense in the first half, when Loyola came out and started pressing immediately. “We’re going to have to prove that we can beat the press if we’re going to win some more games the rest of the way.”

Still, a 49-point second half was the deciding factor for Milwaukee, who improved to 2-10 in Horizon League play with only four games remaining. They return to play Friday night against Youngstown State, who beat them by three in Milwaukee last month.

How did the Panthers do so well in the second half? For one, they didn’t force three-pointers. In fact, they forced themselves to get the ball down low often in the second stanza, only taking six of their 22 shots beyond the arc after the break.

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