Huge Free Throw Advantage Sends Broncos Past Panthers
Jan. 3, 2012
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Matt Stainbrook scored 21 points and Western Michigan outscored the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 30-3 at the foul line in claiming a 72-61 win Tuesday night at University Arena.
The Panthers (10-6) led by as many as seven points in the first half but could not hold off a Bronco team that scored 21 points from the line in the second half alone.
Demetrius Ward added 17 points for the Broncos (6-8), while Austin Richie and Nate Hutcheson added 10 apiece.
UWM wound up attempting a season-high 36 three-pointers in a futile attempt to come from behind late in the game. The Panthers did make 10 of them but were frustrated in their attempts to score on the inside as well as their attempts to defend the Broncos.
"Simply put we had no answer for their inside game. We didn't get to the free throw line, we became discouraged and we shot way too many threes," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "I think the entire game we never felt real comfortable with anything we were doing. We were just searching. Then we became really frustrated with our inability to do anything inside on both ends of the floor."
The first half was filled with runs, as each team led by as many as seven points before Milwaukee settled for a one-point halftime lead. UWM started quickly, scoring eight of the first 10 points as a three-pointer by Kelm made it 8-2. Western responded with the next 10 points to go up 12-8 and the Broncos eventually led 19-12 on a basket by Ward with 7:35 remaining.
The Panthers recovered nicely from there, scoring eight in a row to reclaim a 20-19 advantage. The run actually extended out to 17-3, with a three-pointer by James Haarsma making it 29-22 with 2:12 left. Western had the final answer, scoring the final six points before the break to pull within 29-28.
Ryan Allen knocked in a three-pointer to start the second half but Western scored the next eight points to build a 36-32 advantage. The Bronco lead grew to 46-39 but the Panthers scored seven in a row to tie the game at 46.
Western Michigan then went ahead for good at 51-49 on a basket by Stainbrook with 7:27 remaining and the lead eventually grew to 56-49 with 4:24 left. UWM was able to pull within five twice and four one other time, but a three-pointer by Nate Hutcheson with 1:29 left helped seal the win.
The Panthers will finally return home Saturday, welcoming Green Bay to the U.S. Cellular Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff.