The 3rd Man In

Panthers win third straight game

Two down, one more to go. The Milwaukee Panthers (3-1) won their second game in the Northern Illinois University Invitational as they were able to knock off James Madison (1-2) 77-66.

Milwaukee played another great game, as they were able to hold the lead for most of the game. Although the Panthers were leading for a majority of the first half, the teams went into halftime tied up at 31 apiece. Milwaukee then came out in the second half and was able to get ahead, 37-35, with 16:40 remaining in the game on a layup by Austin Arians. The Panthers never looked back, as they held the lead the rest of the way.

Jordan Aaron was the key player for the Panthers as he scored 24 points, and made big shots when the Panthers needed him. This was easily his best performance of the season, as he started the game off with 14 of the Panthers’ 22 points.

Matt Tiby also had a big night as he recorded his first double-double of the season with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Kyle Kelm and Arians, who started for the injured Thierno Niang, each chipped in with 14 points apiece.

In the first half the Panthers struggled from the field making 11 of their 30 field goal shots, and five of their 14 three point attempts. They also only made half of their eight attempts from the charity strip. It was not a pretty first half, but the Panthers seemed to figure out James Madison’s 3-2 zone at halftime.

The Panthers came out in the second half and actually looked like the better team. They were able to hit a better percentage of their shots, which allowed them to get out to the lead. Milwaukee was able to get up by nine with 10:31 left, and was even up by double digits with 4:03 left.

In the game the Panthers shot a respectable 45.5 percent (25-55) from the field, while knocking down 11 of their 24 shots (45.8%) from long range. The Panthers did struggle from the free throw line as they only made 16 of their 27 chances (59.3%).

For a second straight game Milwaukee was out rebounded by their opponent (40-36), but their turnovers continued to go down as they only had eight in today’s game.

Milwaukee was able to win their third straight game, and second game in the NIU Invitational today. While a win is a win, the Panthers will need to continue to improve on the little things to set them apart from the average teams.

Tomorrow the Panthers will participate in their final game in the NIU Invitational as they square off against the host, Northern Illinois University (1-2). The Huskies lost against James Madison, while winning by only one point against San Jose State this weekend. NIU might not be the most talented team in the Invitational, but they will not be an easy team to beat on their home court. If Milwaukee plays like they have in their last two games, this game will be close, but if they can do a better job at making free throws, they should have no problem knocking off the Huskies.

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