Comeback Falls Short As Panthers Fall To Jacksonville
Nov. 24, 2012
PUERTO VALLERTA, Mexico - Dylan Fritsch scored 14 points and Jacksonville forced 20 turnovers as the Dolphins held on for a 71-66 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday at the Puerto Vallerta Convention Center.
The Panthers (2-3) battled back from a 14-point deficit to crawl within three on multiple occasions in the second half but could never get over the hump.
Jordan Aaron scored 19 points and Demetrius Harris added 16 points and 12 rebounds for Milwaukee, which could not overcome Jacksonville's 29-of-40 free throw clip or foul trouble for James Haarsma and Thierno Niang.
UWM's rally started after the Panthers dug a 37-23 hole in the first half. The Panthers were within 41-38 early in the second half and still within three 2 other times in the closing minute, but Milwaukee could never get any closer.
"Once again a team put a lot of pressure on us and we didn't handle it well," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "It's real simple - 40 free throws for the other team and 20 turnovers for us, you can't win games at this level. We did a little trapping to get them to shoot quickly but we just didn't have enough down the stretch to make plays. We can't allow ourselves to be put in positions where the officials become a part of it. They had nothing to do with this, it was our play and our lack of discipline at times created a lot of problems for ourselves."
After a quick start by Milwaukee in the first four minutes, it was all Jacksonville in the first half. The Panthers jumped out to leads of 7-0, 11-2 and 12-4 before the Dolphins found their stride. Jacksonville took the lead for the first time at 15-14 on a layin by Evin Graham with 12:50 remaining. The lead grew to 26-18 on a layin by Keith McDougal with five minutes left and was 33-21 when Marcellous Bell nailed a three-pointer from the corner with 2:44 remaining. UWM went into the break down, 37-23.
Milwaukee responded immediately as the second half began, scoring the first seven points out of the break to pull within 37-30. The Panthers eventually got to within 41-38 on an Austin Arians layin with 13:52 remaining and it was a game from there.
Jacksonville was able to restore a 10-point lead and was still up 60-52 with less than four minutes remaining. But Harris brought UWM to within 64-61 on a dunk with 49 seconds left and a three-pointer by Niang made it 67-64 with 21 seconds left. Jacksonville then converted four free throws from there to hang on for the win.
"We have to figure out how to not have those lulls we have offensively," Jeter said. "We have long droughts and a lot of times in those droughts, there are a series of turnovers in there. They are turnovers that, in my opinion, we're not being tough enough with the ball."
Milwaukee wraps up its stay in Puerto Vallerta and the Hoops for Hope Classic with a Sunday afternoon contest against Rider.