Panthers drop Cougars for second straight victory

After an uneventful first half in which they found themselves ahead by only three points, the Milwaukee Panthers found their rhythm after half time leading to a 64-51 win over the SIU-Edwardsville Cougars.

Within the first five minutes of the second half, the Panthers gained their first double-digit lead of the game after a three pointer from Jordan Johnson and then an electrifying dunk by J.R. Lyle. Milwaukee stepped up not only defensively, but offensively as well.

“We have been talking about trying to get some stops and trying to get ourselves an opportunity,” Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. “When we have those lulls like we had in the first half, boy, I know it was ugly. But in the second half, shooting 56 percent and getting some key stops – long stretches where SIUE wasn’t scoring – we did a nice job with that tonight.”

Milwaukee had a balanced attack as seven players scored between seven and 12 points on the night. As a team they finished shooting 41% (22-of-54) while holding SIUE to only 34% (20-of-59).

Unlike previous weeks, the Panthers had a full week of practice leading up to tonight’s contest which Jeter pointed to as a reason for their successful second half.

“This was the first game that we kind of had a chance to game plan and really put in some things to try to take away some of the strengths of another team,” Jeter said. “In that run in the second half it really showed up.

“We have a veteran team, and I think sometimes these guys would much rather play. I would like for us to practice. We haven’t had many of them. But we made enough adjustments down the stretch because of some of the things we worked on in practice, and it gave us the chance to move the game into a place where we felt a little comfortable.”

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