The 3rd Man In

Milwaukee begins conference schedule

Youngstown State Penguins (9-6) vs. Milwaukee Panthers (10-4)
Location: U.S. Cellular Arena – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Time: 7:00 p.m. CST
Broadcast: TV: HLN (; Radio: WISN-AM1130

Milwaukee has performed well in the first two months of the college basketball season, and now they will try to continue their success in Horizon League play. After an 11-day holiday break, the Milwaukee Panthers will return to the court as they open their conference schedule against the Youngstown State Penguins Thursday evening.

The Panthers have had difficulties against the Penguins over the last two seasons, as they have not beaten Youngstown State since the 2010-11 season.

Milwaukee may have a chance to snap their losing streak at home, but Youngstown State will not be an easy team to defeat. The League’s coaches, media and sports information directors predicted the Penguins to finish in the middle of the conference standings this preseason, and so far they have performed up to those expectations.

While they did suffer bad loses to Massachusetts, Austin Peay, Kansas City and Kent State, they have played well on both sides of the ball. Their offense averages 82 points per game while shooting 46.2 percent, as their defense only holds opponents to 72.9 points per game on 44.2 percent shooting from the field.

Leading the Penguins is Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kendrick Perry. The senior guard is averaging 20.8 points per game while shooting 51.5 percent from the floor and 40 percent from behind the arc.

Perry will be joined in the starting lineup by guard DJ Cole, and forwards Kamren Belin, Ryan Weber and Bobby Hain.

Milwaukee will counter with their usual and highly successful lineup featuring guards Steve McWhorter and Jordan Aaron, and forwards Austin Arians, Matt Tiby and Kyle Kelm.

This is going to be a great matchup between these two teams, as each of them try to open their conference schedule with a win. Whichever team is able to limit the amount of turnovers while taking smart shots on offense will win this game. Milwaukee has the home court advantage and has had 11 days to prepare for this game, but Youngstown State will not be an easy team to defeat.

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