Panthers Ride Huge Inside Edge To Impressive Win At Davidson
Nov. 11, 2013
DAVIDSON, N.C. - Matt Tiby had 21 points and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to claim an 81-77 win over Davidson Monday night at Belk Arena.
The Panthers (1-1) took the lead for good on a Steve McWhorter basket with three minutes remaining and then made nine of 11 free throws from there to clinch the win.
Milwaukee got plenty of other offensive contributions beyond Tiby, landing five players in double figures. McWhorter added 12, Jordan Aaron and Austin Arians contributed 11 apiece and Kyle Kelm had 10.
"This group grew up tonight," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "We've been talking a lot about our new faces and having a lot of bodies that haven't been together, and they didn't play like that tonight. The fact that we could come on the road and shoot that many (40) free throws, and then more importantly that we could go the last 22 possessions without a turnover, those were the keys."
The Panthers boasted a huge edge inside, leading to a 32-of-40 effort from the free throw line. Milwaukee converted on 21-of-24 in the second half alone, consistently getting the ball in the post while also negating much of Davidson's inside game.
"Matt Tiby, Kyle Kelm, J.J. Panoske all did an incredible job," Jeter said. "JJ had some blocks down the stretch, Kyle played really good defense on De'Mon Brooks, and then of course Matt Tiby plays fearlessly. It's contagious. I like that inside play, and then we got our guard play to improve this game, and you put the combination together and we played a solid game."
Brian Sullivan and Tom Droney scored 22 points apiece for Davidson, which made the NCAA Tournament a season ago. The loss by the Wildcats was their first in a home opener since 1991.
The Panthers found themselves down 55-44 with 14:29 to play before rallying. Milwaukee pulled within 57-53 on a pair of Kelm free throws with 11:25 left and got within 61-60 after seven-straight points from Tiby.
Milwaukee went ahead for the first time in the second half when two more Kelm free throws made it 66-65 with 5:55 remaining. Davidson led once more after than, with a Brooks three-point play giving the Wildcats a 71-70 advantage with 3:16 remaining.
But, McWhorter quickly answered with a basket of his own and then Arians and Tiby combined for 5-of-5 from the line to push the edge back to 77-71. Milwaukee hung on from there.
The Panthers needed to surge in the second half after digging a bit of a hole in the first 20 minutes. After a strong start to open the game by Milwaukee, Davidson steadily claimed some control of the game later in the first half. The Panthers grabbed an early 14-11 lead on a Kelm free throw with 14:32 left and the Milwaukee lead hit 20-16 when Arians his three-straight free throws with 12:35 left.
The Wildcats responded quickly, though, scoring eight of the next 10 points to grab a 24-22 advantage. The lead grew to 28-23 on a layin by Jack Gibbs and hit 36-27 when Sullivan converted a runner in the lane with five minutes left.
UWM pulled to within 36-32 with a pair of JeVon Lyle dunks sandwiched around a single free throw from McWhorter. But Sullivan answered with a pair of three-pointers to extend the lead to 42-32 before Kelm converted a three-point play to bring Milwaukee within 42-35 at the half.
The Panthers did pull within five early in the second half before Davidson ballooned its lead back out again. A layup by Brooks pushed the Wildcat edge to 52-41 and a single free throw later made it 55-44. But it was all Milwaukee from there, as the Panthers outscored the Wildcats 37-22 from there and did not commit a turnover on their final 22 possessions.
Milwaukee again hits the road for three games this weekend at the NIU Invitational. The Panthers play San Jose State Friday, James Madison Saturday and the host Huskies Sunday.