PantherU

Black and Gold drops WSU, guarantees .500

Junior center JJ Panoske hit the game-winning three-pointer with just seconds remaining and the Milwaukee Panthers got their second road victory of the season at the Nutter Center against Wright State Raiders, 61-58.

Milwaukee nearly squandered the lead in the final three minutes, as the Raiders mounted a strong run to cut a seven-point Panther lead down to nothing, tying the game at 58 before Panoske got the game-winner.

It is the first time in the Rob Jeter era that the Panthers have prevailed in the regular season at the Nutter Center. It was of course the setting of the 2014 Horizon League Championship game that saw the Panthers return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2006.

Thursday night, it was all Matt Tiby as the junior forward scored 24 points on 78% shooting before fouling out late in the second half. Senior point guard General Steve McWhorter had a porous shooting night from the field, only hitting one of eleven shot attempts, but hitting on seven free throws to score nine points to go with his six assists.

Other Panthers that flirted with double digits were Akeem Springs and JR Lyle (9 each). Lyle hit a three-point shot in the second half from the corner that helped swing the momentum back towards the Panthers and helped them build the lead that would provide just enough cushion for the victory.

But it all came down to one shot. The Raiders, who had put on a very strong press in the final ten minutes to keep close, did not bring as much intensity on the final Panther possession. Still, they put enough pressure on McWhorter after he crossed half court that he passed the ball off to Panoske. A defensive breakdown caused two Raiders to follow Akeem Springs to the corner, allowing Panoske a wide open shot attempt.

The center swished it, propelling the Panthers to only their second road victory of the season and second ever at the Nutter Center under Rob Jeter.

Milwaukee attempts to put the finishing touches on a great second half run by beating Youngstown State on the road at 6 p.m. Saturday, which would put the Panthers at 9-7 in the Horizon League, a full two games better than the conference championship team that went 7-9 a season ago.

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