Panthers Roll Past Idaho State
Ed McCants

Ed McCants

Dec. 30, 2003

Box Score

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Dylan Page and Ed McCants scored 21 points apiece and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee made a season-high 14 three-point shots in claiming an 85-70 win over Idaho State in the consolation game of the Cable Car Classic Tuesday night at the Leavey Center.

The Panthers (6-4) built a 15-point lead in the first half and then a 20-point lead in the second half before emptying their bench. Joah Tucker added 20 points for UWM as three Panthers reached 20 points for the first time since last year's win at Loyola.

Jeff Gardner led the Bengals (3-9) with 24 points.

The Panthers knocked down 14-of-21 from three-point range and shot a season-high 57.1 percent from the field by regularly running their offense to get open looks from the field.

"We had good spacing in our sets and guys did a good job of making the extra pass," UWM head coach Bruce Pearl said of his team, which tallied 23 assists, including a team-high eight by Adrian Tigert. "We still have a lot of things to work on and we're disappointed that we didn't get to the championship game to play BYU. That's what we came out here for."

After UWM led by eight at halftime, Idaho State pulled within 45-39 on a Nate Rede layin with 19:36 to play in the game. But the Panthers responded on a three by Tucker and quickly built the lead to 58-44 on back-to-back threes by McCants.

Idaho State closed within 58-51 at the 12:43 mark, but UWM scored 17 of the next 21 points to build a 75-55 lead and never looked back.

"We saw 40 minutes of a matchup zone and we had some guys make multiple three-pointers," Pearl said. "We got a real shot in the arm from Joah Tucker and Kalombo Kadima. Plus, Ed McCants continues to be our most consistent performer."



UWM had control of the game from early in the first half. The Panthers broke free of an 8-8 tie after the first six minutes with a 16-4 run that gave UWM a 24-12 edge. A McCants layin off a steal started the run, which also included 3's by McCants and Kadima. The Bengals scored five-straight to pull within 24-17, but a five-point burst by the Panthers made it 29-17 and a jumper by McCants with 6:26 left in the half made it 33-19. UWM then led by as many as 15 points in the first half before the Bengals used a late run to pull within eight at halftime.

UWM shot 56.7 percent in the first half, knocking down 17-of-30 from the field. The Panthers also made 7-of-9 from three-point range, with Kadima, Tucker and McCants knocking down two 3's apiece. UWM also built its first-half edge without offensive contributions from Dylan Page, who did not score in the first 15 minutes of the half and ended the first 20 minutes with four points. But Page responded with 17 points in the second half.

UWM wraps up its three-game road trip Friday night at Air Force. The game will tip off at 8:30 p.m. CST (7:30 p.m. MST).

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