Huge Second-Half Surge Sends Milwaukee Rolling Past Northern Iowa
Matt Tiby goes to the basket in Milwaukee's win over Northern Iowa Tuesday night (photo by Trevor Thompson)

Matt Tiby goes to the basket in Milwaukee's win over Northern Iowa Tuesday night (photo by Trevor Thompson)

Dec. 3, 2013

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MILWAUKEE - Matt Tiby and Jordan Aaron scored 19 points apiece and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee used a 30-5 run to turn the game around en route to an impressive 83-72 win over Northern Iowa Tuesday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena.

The Panthers (8-2) have now already equaled their win total from a season ago and have their second four-game winning streak of the season.

Milwaukee looked like it might be in trouble when it fell into a 42-31 hole early in the second half. But the Panthers responded with the next 17 points and eventually led 61-47 with 9:52 left before hanging on down the stretch.

Steve McWhorter added 16 points and six rebounds for Milwaukee, which also got 11 points from Austin Arians and nine points plus nine rebounds from Kyle Kelm.

As a team, UWM was solid across the board, shooting 45 percent overall, making 10 three-pointers, going 19-of-25 from the line, committing just 11 turnovers and outrebounding UNI, 42-33.

Deon Mitchell scored 19 points to lead Northern Iowa.

"I thought in that first 20 minutes, Northern Iowa looked more together and they looks more seasoned than us," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "In the second half, I thought our guys showed a level of maturity also. They've grown up, we've been to some tough venues, we've been on the road, and we started to get back to our identity. It was good to see that, in front of our fans tonight, we were able to win over our style."

Milwaukee's final 18 minutes of basketball were stellar. UWM wound up outscoring UNI, 52-34, in the second half while recording a 26-13 edge on the backboards.

"We outrebounded them, I thought we shared the ball, and I thought in the second half we made a point to get the ball inside," Jeter said. "The guys stuck to that plan and I'm very proud of them."

Milwaukee struggled to find traction in the first 20 minutes. Northern Iowa jumped out to an early 13-5 lead and UWM wound up fighting uphill the rest of the way. Milwaukee pulled to within 13-10 on a McWhorter three with 14:05 left and then crawled within 21-20 on an Arians three.

The back and forth stretch continued for a while, with UNI rebuilding a seven-point lead before Milwaukee pulled to within 27-26 on a J.J. Panoske basket. Northern Iowa finally started to expand the gap in the final minutes of the half, with a single free throw from Mitchell making it 38-31 at the break.

UNI then scored the first four points of the second half to claim a 42-31 advantage. But the game turned completely around from there.

Panoske started the run with a three and moments later a three from Tiby had the contest tied at 42-apiece. Tiby added two layups after a layin from Aaron and the Milwaukee advantage was 48-42.

But the Panthers were far from done. Another three from Tiby pushed the lead to 54-45 and a runner from McWhorter made it 59-47. Arians added a jumper with 9:52 left, and all of a sudden the Panthers were up 61-47.

From there, Milwaukee had an answer every time UNI tried to mount a charge. A three from McWhorter restored a 70-62 lead with five minutes left before Arians scored on a runout 30 seconds later for a 72-62 advantage. UWM then made 9-of-12 from the line to close out the win.

"Down 11, to a team that is very disciplined and well-coached like Northern Iowa, things could get out of hand quickly," Jeter said. "This group really found a way to do it the tough way. There weren't a lot of jump shots, it was more inside, and I think that's our identity."

Milwaukee stays home but heads back to campus this weekend, welcoming Bradley to the Klotsche Center for a 3 p.m. contest.



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