The 3rd Man In

Panthers start off weekend with a win

It was closer than expected but the Milwaukee Panthers were able to continue their winning ways. In the first game of the Northern Illinois University Invitational the Milwaukee Panthers (2-1) were able to knock off San Jose State (0-2) 64-61.

The Panthers held onto the lead for the final 12 minutes of play, and were even up by 10 with two minutes left. But this did not stop the Spartans, as they were able to make it interesting at the end, pulling within three. However Milwaukee’s clutch free throw shooting at the end was too much for them to overcome.

This was a solid effort by the Panthers as four different players scored in double figures. Jordan Aaron led Milwaukee with 16 points, while Austin Arians had 14 points, as he started for the injured Thierno Niang, and Matt Tiby and Steve McWhorter each scored 12 points.

J.J. Panoske started for the Panthers, but in only 17 minutes he scored one point and had three rebounds. The only substitutions head coach Rob Jeter used in tonight’s contest was Kyle Kelm, Malcolm Moore and JeVon Lyle.

Milwaukee was able to get the win, but it was unlike their first two games. The Panthers were outrebounded 43-34 by the Spartans and only made 19 of their 30 attempts from the free throw line. They also only shot 37.3 percent from the field, and 33.3 percent from behind the arc.

One thing the Panthers were able to improve on was the amount of turnovers. In tonight’s contest they only turned the ball over 11 times, the least in their first three games this season.

This game was not the Panthers prettiest performance, but they were able to do enough to win their first game in the NIU Invitational. This is to be expected when one of your starters is out with an injury and another one has an off game, but the Panthers will need to play better if they want to go undefeated this weekend.

Tomorrow the Panthers will play against James Madison, who made a NCAA Tournament appearance, but lost many of those players from last season’s team. They are now the second youngest team in the country, with only have two starters and five letter winners returning from a season ago. This will be a tougher game for the Panthers, and they will need to play better than they did tonight if they want to win.

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