Panthers Lose Overtime Heartbreaker At Loyola
Dec. 8, 2007
CHICAGO - Leon Young scored 21 points and Loyola forced overtime with a last-second tip-in before pulling away for a 73-68 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday night at the Gentile Center.
The Panthers (3-6, 0-2 Horizon) looked to have the game won when Marcus Skinner converted a pair of free throws to put Milwaukee up 56-52 with 19.4 seconds remaining. But, after J.R Blount cut the lead to 56-54 on two free throws with 11.2 seconds left, UWM's Ricky Franklin was called for an offensive foul before the ball was inbounded. On Loyola's ensuing possession, Blount missed a long three-pointer but Tracy Robinson tipped-in the miss with 0.7 seconds remaining to force overtime.
The Ramblers then pulled away in the extra session, making 4-of-5 from the field and 9-of-12 free throws while leading the entire way.
Torre Johnson scored 19 points to go with 12 rebounds, Paige Paulsen added 17 points and Marcus Skinner pitched-in with 10 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for the Panthers. But, UWM could not overcome a 22-10 scoring deficit at the foul line, with the Panthers called for 24 fouls to just 14 on the Ramblers.
"Our guys fought hard tonight," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "No matter what the circumstances, our guys continued to play with the passion I like to see."
As for the hotly-disputed foul against Franklin in the closing seconds of regulation, Jeter was diplomatic.
"The referee called a foul so I guess it was a foul," Jeter said. "I will watch the tape, but right now it's a foul."
The Ramblers looked like they might be pulling away early in the second half, jumping up 34-23 with over 16 minutes still to play. The led 38-27 about two minutes later before Milwaukee charged back into the game, tying the score at 39 on a Deonte Roberts layin. UWM then led 46-45 on a three-point play by Franklin and pushed the edge to 54-50 on a Johnson layin with 1:39.
After Blount hit two free throws to cut the lead back to two, UWM grabbed a pair of offensive rebounds in what turned into a 68-second possession that was capped by Skinner's two free throws. That set the stage for the odd final seconds of overtime which would keep Loyola in the game.
Neither team got much done offensively in the first 20 minutes. The Panthers held an early 10-8 lead with 12:24 left on a Paulsen three, but the Ramblers responded by scoring nine-straight points to claim a 17-10 edge. But, UWM quickly closed the gap to two at 17-15 and was still within 25-21 at the break.
UWM returns to action Wednesday night, playing host to Wisconsin at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The game is the first visit by the Badgers to Milwaukee for a game against UWM since the 2001-02 season. The contest tips off at 7 p.m. CST.