PantherU

Panthers Get Back to Winning Ways

Five players finished in double figures Sunday afternoon as the Milwaukee Panthers men’s basketball team beat the Montana Grizzlies 73-58.

After coming off a disappointing performance against Wisconsin Wednesday night, the Panthers got back on track with a balanced scoring effort from the entire team. Junior J.R. Lyle lead all scores for Milwaukee with 16, while Steve McWhorter also pitched in 15 on 5 of 8 shooting.

The game was close for the first six minutes, but a 18-2 run by Milwaukee that stretched over an eight minute period gave the Panthers a comfortable lead and set the tone for the rest of the game.

“The last few days of practice were tough,” junior center J.J. Panoske said. “Coach has been a little tougher on us then usual and jumping on guys more, but it’s good to get back on the winning track.”

Milwaukee played a very efficient first half, which gave them a 37-25 after the first 20 minutes. The offense was scoring from the outside but even importantly, from the inside as well. Most offensive possessions were being run through Panokse and the other post players, which lead to paint points and clean, outside looks. Panoske finished the half with 8 points and the team shot 56 percent overall on 14 of 25 shooting.

“When you have an inside and out presence like we have with our post player, it keeps teams off balance,” Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. “When you see five guys in double figures that usually means we won the game.”

The second half was more of the same for the Panthers, as they built their lead up to 22. The Grizzlies cut the lead to 12 with four minutes left to play, but Milwaukee closed the game out by taking care of the ball and playing solid defense.

Sophomore guard Akeem Springs finally found his touch again as he finished the game with 14 points. An even better sign for Springs was that those 14 points came on only seven shots. As of late, a hand injury has significantly been affecting his play and has landed him on the bench more often than not.

“He was patient,” Jeter said. “I think psychologically he knew something was wrong with his hand and now he knows that it’s better and that helps a lot.”

The win today puts Milwaukee at 5-6 on the year. The team takes on SIU Edwardsville in their next contest as they play their next five games on the road.

 

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