The 3rd Man In

Mistakes continue to haunt Milwaukee

Despite possessing a nine-point lead early in the second half, the Milwaukee Panthers were unable to stop the pesky IUPUI Jaguars, falling 70-68 at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena on Wednesday evening.

“Obviously it is disappointing to lose at home,” Panther head coach Rob Jeter said. “There are some things that are starting to show up statistically that we have to turn around. One, we are just shooting way to many threes. That means we need to get something inside, which we failed to do tonight.

“When you lose a two-point game you look down at the free throws. Going three of 10 in the second help – that doesn’t help.”

Milwaukee finished the night shooting 42.2 percent (25-59) from the field, including only 31.8 percent (7-22) from three-point range. They also continued to struggle from the charity strip, hitting only 50 percent (11-22) of their free throw attempts.

At the 19:15 mark in the second half, a hoop by Matt Tiby gave the Panthers a 42-33 lead. The wild, energetic Tiby was fouled on his shot, and went to the free throw line to try and complete a three-point play. When he stepped up to the strip, he was fired up, and turned around and yelled something to a Jaguar player behind him. Instantly, the officials whistled Tiby for a technical foul.

This moment instantly changed the game, as the Jaguars went on a 15-6 run to tie the contest up at 48.

“The air kind of left the building,” Jeter said when asked about Tiby’s technical foul changing the momentum in the game.

“It’s the one thing that makes him a tough player, is that he’s so emotional. But it’s also the one thing that can be a detriment to him and the team if it’s not kept in check.”

Only a minute and six seconds into the second half, Tiby picked up his fourth personal foul, and was subbed out of the game by Jeter right away. He never returned to the court, and only saw four minutes of action on the night as he was in foul trouble the entire game.

“People have to be accountable for their actions, they really do,” said Jeter. “You have to try to invoke change the best way you can. Second technical in three games, second game where momentum changes for us. We’ve got to learn a lesson as a team. You can’t reward that.

“I thought he did a nice job of cheering on his teammates from the side. But, I’m coaching this team to be better down the road and to be better people. To stick to our rules. At that time, I just wasn’t going to put him back in the game because of how everything transpired.”

With 4:44 remaining in the game the Jaguars were able to jump ahead of the Panthers, taking a 58-57 lead – their first in the game. Milwaukee was able to come back a little more than a minute later to retake the lead, but IUPUI was continuing to gain more and more confidence.

The Jaguars were able to go up by six with only 29 seconds left. But, the Panthers had an opportunity to tie or even win the game with three seconds remaining, trailing by two. Justin Jordan was given the opportunity to inbound the ball. He passed it to Steve McWhorter, but the ball went right through his hands.

IUPUI stole the ball, and ran the ball down the court to run the clock down to zero.

Jeter said that his options were limited, and that they decided to have Jordan inbound the ball in a crucial situation because he is a point guard and has been making solid plays this season. He admitted that it isn’t a move he is going to second guess because in the end, it is about making a clean catch, which the failed to do.

JeVon Lyle and McWhorter finished the game with 19 points apiece, while J.J. Panoske added 10.

This was a disappointing game for the Panthers after leading by double digits for a majority of the first half. Mistakes and failing to attack in the paint offensively have haunted the Panthers this season, dropping their record to 1-2 after this loss.

Milwaukee will look to rebound after this tough defeat in their next contest on Friday night, but it won’t be easy, as they will face the challenging Oklahoma State Cowboys on the road.

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