PantherU

Panthers seek consistency on the road

Get knocked back, keep moving forward. Sunday, the Milwaukee Panthers got off their backs and kept moving forward just as Rocky Balboa intended. Beginning tomorrow, the Milwaukee Panthers will strive to achieve consistency in the final non-conference games of the season prior to the start of Horizon League play. The Panthers will strive for that consistency in a game on the road Saturday night at SIU-Edwardsville. What makes it difficult to achieve is the fact that the Panthers have their next five match-ups away from Milwaukee.
The Panthers enter this game with a 5-6 record but have not won a road game in three tries this season. While the whole team has struggled, senior point guard Steve McWhorter has been the perfect image of consistency. He leads the Panthers in minutes, points and assists. In addition he has the team lead in field goal percentage and free throw percentage among the major contributors to the rotation. McWhorter is also near the team lead in rebounds. He has also been a good leader for the Panthers on the floor during the first third of the season.
 
The SIU-Edwardsville Cougars won their opening game of the season before losing their last seven. For the season, the Cougars are a mere 1-2 on their home floor although the majority of their losses on the season have been by under ten points so this is not a team the Panthers can afford to take lightly. The Cougars’ offense is led by senior guard Kris Davis who is averaging 16.5 points per game. The only other offensive player averaging in double figures for scoring is junior guard Donivine Stewart who is averaging 12.9 points per game. Stewart is also second on the team in rebounds and is the team leader in assists.
This game is important for the Panthers on several levels. First it is important for the Panthers to get a win on the road. The ability to go on the road and be able to feel confident enough to put together a winning performance is important with Horizon League play beginning soon. Secondly, this game will provide a good preview of the type of teams the Panthers will face once league play begins since in the Horizon League the majority of the scoring threats are guards. This is a game the Panthers can win and a key to doing so is getting off to a good start and establishing offense in the paint. Getting shots in the paint could possibly lead to foul problems for the Cougars and would give the Panthers higher percentage shots. If the Panthers are able to establish the paint and get off to a good offensive start they should be able to secure their first road victory of the season. 

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