Defense Sparks Panthers To Senior Night Victory
Feb. 20, 2013
MILWAUKEE - Paris Gulley scored 17 points and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee held UIC to just 35 percent shooting from the field as the Panthers made Senior Night successful with a 64-53 win Wednesday night at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (7-22, 3-12 Horizon) led from nearly start to finish in capturing their second-straight home win.
Jordan Aaron added nine points and seven rebounds while Demetrius Harris had nine points and three blocks. Milwaukee also got contributions from a variety of other sources, as Evan Richard scored eight points and Kyle Kelm added seven points, five rebounds and three assists in his most extended playing time in more than a month.
Gary Talton had 13 points to lead UIC (15-12, 6-8), which came in looking to clinch a home game in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament.
But, after allowing 91 points per game in losses at Youngstown State and Cleveland State over the weekend, the Panthers put together a strong 40 minutes defensively.
"The first thing to say is that we held a team to 53 points, and that gave us a chance to win the ballgame," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "Defensively I thought the effort was better to make them miss and make them uncomfortable."
The effort also allowed the five-member senior class to go out victorious.
"We've been through so much this year that we are going to celebrate victories," Jeter said. "I'm just so proud of these guys to bounce back, to win at home and win for the seniors. It's been tough, and we've been through so many ups and downs together, and these guys have stuck together and they're still fighting and there's still a lot of pride and passion."
The Panthers led most of the way in the first 20 minutes. Milwaukee took the lead for good at 9-7 and eventually led 16-11 on a jumper by Richard with 7:45 left. UIC did close to within a point at 19-18 on a Talton hoop but the Panthers restored a five-point edge on an Austin Arians three with 1:40 left. Milwaukee then led 27-22 on a Ryan Haggerty basket at the buzzer.
The Flames again pulled within 29-28 on a pair of Talton free throws with 16:16 remaining but the Panthers responded again. A three-pointer by Aaron pushed the lead to 42-34 and then a three by Kelm made it 45-34.
UIC did pull to within 49-43 on a Talton layin and made it 53-48 on a pair of Daniel Barnes free throws with 2:11 remaining. But Milwaukee was not about to let this one get away, as Richard scored on a nifty feed from Kelm on the Panthers' next possession and then the Panthers converted on 9-of-10 free throws to seal the win.
The Panthers step back outside of league play Saturday, playing in the annual BracketBusters event at IUPUI.