PantherU

Milwaukee wins on record setting day

January was a tough month for the Milwaukee Panthers going 4-5 in Horizon League play, and seeing their name fall near the bottom of the conference standings. Milwaukee (15-9, 5-5) was able to turn their luck around and start February off on the right note destroying Oakland 86-64 at home on a record setting day.

Jordan Aaron led five Panther players in double digits with 23 points, while Austin Arians was second with 16. Matt Tiby also had a big day recording a double-double with 10 points and 17 rebounds in only 22 minutes of action.

Not only did Aaron have an excellent day offensively, but also he did a tremendous job defending Oakland’s Travis Bader who entered the game only three 3-pointers away from breaking the all-time NCAA mark held by former Duke sharpshooter JJ Redick.

“It’s tremendously hard to shut down a great shooter like Bader is,” Aaron said. “He does a lot of running off screens, and it gets you a little tired chasing him all around.

“But that was my job today, and I tried to do my best to stop him from getting comfortable shots. I think we did a good job of that in the second half.”

Bader tied the all-time record with 6:56 left in the first half, and then broke the record less than a minute later on a made three-pointer from the right corner.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Bader. “It’s something that’s good for Oakland, good for our fans and everything like that, but me being the person I am, I wanted to win the game more than anything.”

He received a standing ovation from his teammates on the bench immediately following the make, while also being greeted near half court at the following media timeout.

Milwaukee Panther fans also gave him a standing ovation when it was announced during the media timeout that he had broken the all-time record.

“You’ve got a guy sitting in the room that’s the greatest of all-time at something,” said Oakland head coach Greg Kampe. “And we’re not talking about flipping a tiddlywink or something like that.

“This game’s been played for a long, long time and he’s the best ever. And, he’s still got seven, eight games left.”

Bader finished the afternoon with 21 points.

This game was close going into the locker rooms at halftime, with Milwaukee leading 41-38, as both teams were making a high percentage of their shots from the field.

The second half was a completely different story as Milwaukee controlled the game, while Oakland just ran out of gas down the stretch.

Milwaukee finished the afternoon shooting 64 percent (30-53) from the floor and 52 percent (13-25) from three-point territory.

They also obliterated Oakland on the boards grabbing 41 compared to the Golden Grizzlies 24.

This was Milwaukee’s best performance of the season, and it came at the right time as they try to get hot and make a run to finish the year off strong to position themselves nicely for the conference tournament.

“I’m really impressed with how our guys have been able to get this thing turned around,” said Milwaukee Panthers head coach Ron Jeter. “Nothing has been easy this entire season, and it doesn’t seem like it’s going to be easy at all. But today we seemed to find a way to have some fun.”

It will be nearly a week until the Panthers play again as they will take the short drive north to square off against Green Bay next week Saturday.

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