The 3rd Man In

Tough start to the season

College basketball is back and the Milwaukee Panthers tipped off their season in Chicago as they faced the Loyola Ramblers. Unfortunately, this game did not go the Panthers (0-1) way as they lost to the Ramblers (1-0) by a score of 76 to 72.

While the final score did not go in the Panthers favor, one thing is for sure; Milwaukee will definitely be improved from last season.

One of the major reasons the Panthers will have more success this season is because of Matt Tiby. He is a vocal leader and provides the Panthers with a lot of energy, and you could see that it rubbed off on the rest of team throughout the game. In 34 minutes of play, Tiby scored 21 points along with eight rebounds and five assist.

In the first half, you could tell the Panthers were the better team, and fans were just waiting for them to pull away. With 6:15 remaining in the half, the Panthers were leading 21-17 after Jordan Aaron hit a three point shot, and were even winning 25-19 with only 3:10 left. But after that, Loyola made a run of their own scoring nine of the last 12 points in the half to tie the score up at 28.

Austin Arians made it interesting at the end as he made a three point shot, but after the referees looked at it for around five minutes, it was ruled that he shot the ball after time had expired.

The beginning of the second half was very similar to the first half, but with 7:56 left, the game completely changed. Loyola went on a 20-7 run to turn their 59-57 deficit into a 73-64 lead. The Panthers made it interesting, as they were able to get within three points of tying the game up with 28.8 seconds left, but it was just too much for them to overcome.

Arians scored 11 points and Kyle Kelm added 13 off the bench. The Panthers did an exceptional job from the charity strip as they made 16 of their 17 free throw attempts, and they also were able to outrebounded Loyola 31-26.

This game was sloppy, as Milwaukee had 18 turnovers while Loyola had 11. Another big surprise from this game was the amount of fouls that were being called. Some of this was because the rule changes, but sometimes the referees were making some questionable calls. Milwaukee had 24 personal fouls while Loyola had 21.

It was an exciting and loud atmosphere as the college basketball season tipped off for both teams. While Milwaukee was unable to get to win, they showed signs off being a good team, as long as they are able to not turn the ball over as much, and continue to shoot well offensively.

The Panthers next game is Monday as they are on the road to face Davidson. Tip off is at six o’clock central time and will be aired on ESPN3. You can also watch it at the Black Rose in Milwaukee, as the Black and Gold Club will be having a viewing party.

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