Williams' Three Beats Buzzer To Send Panthers Past Phoenix
Jan. 7, 2012
MILWAUKEE - Kaylon Williams hit a three-pointer from the left wing as time expired to send the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a thrilling 64-63 win over Green Bay Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Panthers inbounded the ball from under the basket with 1.1 seconds remaining, which was just enough time for Paris Gulley to find Williams for the game-winner.
UWM (11-6, 4-1 Horizon) ended the game on a 7-0 run to claim the win after Green Bay had forged a six-point lead with a 10-0 run of its own.
The final possession was set up by a defensive stop, as Milwaukee forced a turnover with 19 seconds remaining. The Panthers first try on offense was actually to tie the game, but Williams saw his inside shot miss and go out of bounds off the Phoenix. Officials checked the monitors and put 1.1 seconds on the clock, with Williams then converting just the third 3-pointer of the night for Milwaukee.
"I saw coming out of the timeout they weren't matched up. They left Evan (Richard) open first and then two guys ran at him. They got to me late, our big (Kyle Kelm) set a good screen and I was just open," Williams said. "Every time in a situation like that I ask for the ball. The play was set up for me to take the ball out of bounds, but I told them I wanted the shot so I switched with Paris and he took it out.
"You see the shot going up and there's still the chance it's not going in, but right there I felt like it was going to go in. As poorly as I have been shooting, that was big for me."
UWM recovered from a slow start on offense to shoot 41 percent from the field. And, one game after trying 36 three-pointers, the Panthers attempted just 14 and scored 40 of their points in the paint and 11 more from the foul line.
Keifer Sykes led Green Bay (6-9, 2-3) with 20 points.
Milwaukee trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half before finding its stride, as the Panthers held Green Bay to just 32 percent shooting in the second 20 minutes after the Phoenix shot nearly 57 percent in the first half. In fact, after Green Bay made 10 of its first 14 shots, the Phoenix went just 17-47 the rest of the way.
"Big shot, but more importantly, the second 20 minutes I liked the way our guys defended and played hard and together," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "To keep a team to 23 points in a half is more indicative of how we've been playing. The first half, we had no answer, but the second half was the key for us. Our ability to defend - we scrapped and we just got one more shot, and it was a huge one."
The Panthers looked like they might get run out of the game in the first 20 minutes. The Phoenix led 16-8 within the first five minutes of the game and went up 27-16 on a Sykes basket with 8:44 left. The lead eventually hit 12 at 34-22 before Milwaukee steadily recovered. A layin by Tony Meier brought UWM to within 6 at 36-30 and Milwaukee went into the locker room at halftime down 40-32.
UWM started the second half with a great burst, using an 11-2 run to claim a 43-42 advantage. The Panthers took the lead back again at 51-49 and eventually led by as many as four points, claiming a 57-53 advantage with 5:20 left.
Green Bay answered with a run of 10-straight points to seemingly claim control of the game. A three-pointer by Cam Cerroni gave the Phoenix a 60-57 lead and a Terry Johnson three-point play extended the edge to 63-57 with 1:45 remaining.
Milwaukee somehow battled back from there and even overcame a hotly-disputed charge call against Williams with just over a minute remaining. But the Panthers held the Phoenix scoreless over the final 1:45 and pulled out a win that keeps them atop the Horizon League standings.
The Panthers continue their three-game homestand with a pair of games next week. Wright State visits the U.S. Cellular Arena Thursday before Detroit comes to Milwaukee for a Saturday night contest.