Panthers Finish Off Three-Game Road Swing At Wright State

Jan. 19, 2014

 Game #21 | Milwaukee (13-7, 3-3) @ Wright State (12-9, 4-2)
 Date  Tuesday, Jan. 21 | 6 p.m. CST
 Location  Nutter Center | Dayton, Ohio
 Milwaukee TV/Video  Time Warner Cable SportsChannel (Daron Sutton and Adrian Tigert)
 Radio  WISN-AM1130 (Bill Johnson and Kevin O'Connor) - Listen Live  Live Stats | HLN Broadcast
 More Information  Milwaukee Game Notes

The Last Meeting
Wright State64
February 9, 2013
Klotsche Center
Stingy Raiders Move Into Second With Win In Milwaukee
Cole Darling and Jerran Young scored 18 points apiece and Wright State never trailed in the game en route to a 64-49 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday night at the Klotsche Center. The Raiders (17-8, 8-4) moved into a second-place tie with Detroit in the Horizon League by steadily building an advantage while limiting Milwaukee to 40 percent shooting and forcing 16 turnovers.

Need To Know
• The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team wraps up a stretch of three-straight games on the road with a Tuesday night contest at Wright State.

• The Panthers struggled from the floor and fell 75-62 at Valparaiso Saturday afternoon.

• Milwaukee bolted to a 14-5 lead in the game but was never the same after that. UWM shot just 32 percent from the floor and attempted 31 three-pointers in defeat.

• The loss was the first road defeat in league play for the Panthers, who had already won at Oakland and UIC. Milwaukee has six true road wins this season after collecting just one all of last season. And, nine of the Panthers' 13 victories this year have come outside of the city of Milwaukee. The four non-league road wins UWM has claimed are the most since the 2004-05 campaign.

• It took Milwaukee just 11 games to exceed its overall win total from a season ago, while the Panthers have now equaled their league win total from last season.

• The Panthers have shown great balance on offense. Milwaukee has four players averaging in double figures, led by Matt Tiby's 14.2 points per game. In fact, all four players in double digits are averaging at least 11.4 ppg and the Panthers have had 10 different players reach double-figures at least once this season.

• UWM has already scored 80 or more points eight times this season after doing it just four times all of last season.

• Milwaukee hasn't won at Wright State since 2005.

• Game #21
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team finishes off a stretch of three-straight road games with a Tuesday night contest at Wright State.

• A Quick Scout
Wright State enters play Tuesday 12-9 overall and 4-2 in the Horizon League ... the Raiders captured a 49-46 victory at Cleveland State Sunday, claiming sole possession of second place in the Horizon League in the process ... WSU was picked to finish second in the league this season after losing in the championship game a year ago ... the Raiders boast an extremely balanced attack with no player averaging more than 11 ppg and only A.J. Pacher in double figures ... opponents shoot just 42 percent from the floor and score just 61 points per game against WSU ... UWM holds a 24-23 all-time series lead over Wright State thanks to having won 16 of the last 26 meetings between the two schools ... the Panthers have not won in Dayton since 2005 ... last season Wright State swept Milwaukee, though the Panthers had a chance to tie the game at the end of a 53-51 defeat in Dayton ... the two teams play again in nine days in Milwaukee ... in fact, only a Friday game with Detroit separates the two meetings on the Milwaukee schedule.

• Not Home Much
The Panthers certainly aren't spending any extended time on their home court this season. In fact, UWM spent nearly a month between home games before league play started. Milwaukee is playing just 12 of its 30 regular season games at home this year and UWM's 12 home games are easily the least in the Horizon League. UIC will play 14 home games plus two additional games in Chicago. Every other league team will play 15 or 16 home contests. The good news is the Panthers have started to make their mark on the road this season. UWM now has six true road wins and nine total victories outside of Milwaukee. In non-league play alone, UWM had four true road wins and seven wins outside of Milwaukee. Those non-league totals are particularly notable around the Horizon League, as the other eight teams in the league combined for just nine road wins and only 18 road+neutral victories in non-league play.

• Finishing A Road Swing
Tuesday's game is the final one in a stretch that will have seen the Panthers play three road games in six days. This is the fourth time in the last six years Milwaukee will be playing three-straight league road games. But, it is the first time since 2007-08 the Panthers are playing three league road games in six days. One thing the recent Horizon League membership changes has ensured is some scheduling oddities and clear differences from previous seasons. This season, Milwaukee makes single-game trips for road contests at Oakland, Detroit and Wright State while only facing two traditional Thursday-Saturday road swings. This is the first time since the 2003-04 season the Panthers will be making a single-game trip to Wright State.

• So Many Good Things
Milwaukee has gotten its 2013-14 season off to a very nice start, posting a 13-7 record through 20 games while making a strong push toward exceeding external expectations. The list of highlights and accomplishments so far this year is long.

- Milwaukee finished its non-league schedule with 10 wins, equaling the most of any Horizon League team and setting a new school record for non-league wins. If you count only wins over Division I goes, Milwaukee had two more non-league wins than any other school in the league.

- The Panthers have scored 80 or more points eight times this season after doing it just four times all of last season. That's the most since the 2010-11 campaign, when Milwaukee also hit the 80-point mark eight times. The highest recent tally was 2005-06, when UWM hit 80 or more 11 times.

- The Panthers set a school record with seven wins in the month of November. The previous best was five, set in both 2009 and 2011.

- UWM put together a stretch of four-straight true road wins, besting three-game streaks from 2007-08, 2009-10 and 2010-11. Milwaukee last won five-straight road games in 2004-05.

- Prior to this season, Milwaukee had never won more than two true road games in the month of November.

- Milwaukee's four non-league road wins are one better than the team total from the 2005-06, 2009-10 and 2011-12 seasons. UWM last won four non-league road games in 2004-05.

- The Panthers have won games in nine different venues, including two different home venues. Plus, Milwaukee has beaten teams from nine different conferences.

- Milwaukee has two wins over NCAA Tournament teams (Davidson and James Madison).

• What A Difference A Year Makes
There's little question the Panthers are a different team in 2013-14 than they were in 2012-13. It took UWM just 11 games to exceed its win total of a year ago and it has improved dramatically in nearly every key statistical category:

		12-13	13-14	Diff
Points Scored	62.7	72.7	+10.0
FG Percentage	38.8	44.2	+5.4
FT Percentage	68.4	74.2	+5.8
Asst. Per Game	10.9	14.0	+3.1
TO Per Game	14.2	13.0	-1.2

• Other Notable Differences
Milwaukee's quick turnaround from 2012-13 until now has also been highlighted by a number of tremendous individual improvements:

- Senior Kyle Kelm has upped his scoring average from 5.1 points per game a season ago to 12.3 points per contest this year. He is also shooting 56.1 percent after making only 41.0 percent of his shots in `12-'13.

- Sophomore Austin Arians is averaging 11.4 points per contest this year after averaging 6.6 points per game a season ago. He has also improved his game dramatically inside the arc. He made just 23 two-point shots all of last season but has already made 42 this year. Taken one step further, almost 75 percent of Arians' shots a year ago came from three-point range, while this season less than 60 percent of his shots have come from beyond the arc.

- Milwaukee's two best newcomers - Steve McWhorter and Matt Tiby - have combined for 23.3 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. For comparison sake, UWM's five-person senior class a year ago averaged 29.5 points and 14.5 rebounds per contest over 32 games.

• Starting Tips And Trends
Milwaukee has now used the same starting lineup in 13 of its last 14 games after mixing and matching through the first six games of the year. Those five starters have all been making their mark lately.

- Kyle Kelm has had a double-double in three of his last seven games.

- Steve McWhorter has reached double figures in five of six league games and is averaging 6.8 assists per game in his last four outings.

- Matt Tiby has reached double-figures in 12-straight games and has scored 20 or more points twice in his last three games.

- Jordan Aaron scored just two points against Oakland while focusing his efforts on stopping sharp-shooter Travis Bader. But, he still leads the Panthers in scoring in league play at 16.7 points per contest.

- Austin Arians has been in double figures 14 times this season after doing it just six times all of last season.

• Comeback Kids
While the Panthers don't want to make a habit of falling behind, they have demonstrated a great ability to fight back. The comeback win at UIC Thursday night marked the fifth time this season Milwaukee has overcome a double-digit deficit to claim a victory. They've done it four times on the road, and three times that double-digit deficit has been in the second half. 11/11 @ Davidson - down 11 with 16:00 left in the 2nd half; won 81-77
11/17 @ NIU - down 14 with 10:52 left in the 1st half; won 82-69
12/3 vs. Northern Iowa - down 11 with 19:05 left in 2nd half; won 83-72
1/8 @ Oakland - down 11 with 17:17 left in the 1st half; won 84-75
1/16 @ UIC - down 13 at half; won 67-63

• Last Time Out
LaVonte Dority had 27 points and Valparaiso held the UWM to 32 percent shooting from the floor as the Crusaders claimed a 75-62 win Saturday afternoon at the Athletics-Recreation Center. The Panthers bolted to a 14-5 lead in the first seven minutes of the game before the Crusaders controlled the final 33 minutes of the contest. Matt Tiby had 22 points and eight rebounds to lead Milwaukee, but the Panthers took 31 three-point shots and were never on track offensively after the opening minutes of the game.

• Proving A Point
Junior Steve McWhorter has been an obvious calming presence for the Panthers. He has often been the spark in Milwaukee's comeback wins and has been the driving force behind the Panthers' vastly improved offense. He has just 45 turnovers this season in spite of playing more than 33 minutes per game. And his 79 assists have produced a very positive assist-to-turnover ratio. Plus, his work at the point has allowed Jordan Aaron to slide to an off-guard position, where he has now posted efforts of 33, 27 and 26 points and is averaging 13.4 points per game. With teams clearly aiming to control Milwaukee's post game, the duo is averaging 28.5 points per game in league play.

• Inside Tandem
Kyle Kelm and Matt Tiby have combined to provide a strong one-two punch inside for the Panthers this season. Tiby was the standout Saturday at Valparaiso, leading the way with a collegiate-high 22 points to go with eight rebounds. That was his fifth 20-plus-point performance of the season. Meanwhile, Kelm has had a double-double in three of his last seven games and has been in double digits in points in 15 of his 20 outings. He has now played in 110 career games and made 46 starts, scoring 714 career points. Tiby has led the Panthers in scoring four times and rebounding nine times.

• Oh So Many Options
One thing is clear over the first 20 games - Milwaukee has plenty of options on offense. Cody Wichmann has now been in double figures in two of his last four games and is one of 10 Panthers to have collected at least one double-figure outing this season. Four players enter play this week averaging at least 11 points per game. Milwaukee has had five players reach double figures in a game four times and four players do so in eight other contests.

• Free Stuff
The Panthers have done a strong job of establishing an inside edge and using it to get to the foul line. In fact, Milwaukee has made 356 free throws through 20 games. Even better, the Panthers are shooting very well from the line, converting on 74.2 percent of their attempts. The school record for free throw percentage is 74.5 percent, set in the 1993-94 campaign. Milwaukee is also on pace to break the single-season record for made free throws (542).



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