Feb. 5, 2009
Game #23 - Milwaukee (14-8, 9-3 Horizon) @ Green Bay (18-6, 10-2 Horizon)
Sat. Feb. 7 7 pm
Resch Center Green Bay, Wis.
Printable Game Notes
The Short List
UWM begins the month of February with a Saturday night contest at Green Bay.
The Panthers have had a week off since a thrilling 63-62 win over UIC last Saturday.
In that game, UWM trailed by 10 points with 1:27 remaining but pulled out the win with four 3-pointers down the stretch.
Deion James hit the game-winner at the buzzer - his only basket of the night.
Freshman Tony Meier tallied his second collegiate double-double, collecting 17 points and 16 rebounds.
UWM has struggled from the field in the last two weeks, shooting just 30.8 percent from the floor over the last four games.
The Panthers have made up for it on the backboards, collecting 83 offensive boards over the last four games.
On The Air
Saturday's game will air live throughout eastern Wisconsin on Time Warner Cable Sports 32. Bob Brainerd and Jason Clark have the call. The game is also available nationally on ESPN Full Court, ESPN360 and the Horizon League Network. Radio coverage of the game is also available on WISN (AM 1130). Bill Johnson's pregame show begins at 6:45 p.m.
Tickets for Saturday's game are available through the Green Bay Ticket Office or at the doors of the Resch Center on gameday. Tickets for all UWM home games are available through Milwaukee-area Ticketmaster outlets, online at ticketmaster.com and by phone at 414-276-4545. Tickets are also available at the U.S. Cellular Arena box office on the day of the game.
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee men's basketball team starts the month of February with a Saturday night contest at Green Bay.
Some Matchup History
Green Bay holds a 22-18 lead in the all-time series with UWM, though the Panthers have sliced into that advantage in recent seasons. Milwaukee has won 13 of the last 19 meetings between the two schools, including wins in each of its last two trips to the Resch Center.
First Time With The Phoenix
Rahmon Fletcher hit two free throws with 5.4 seconds remaining as Green Bay captured a 77-75 overtime victory over UWM Jan. 9 at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Phoenix made 8-of-10 free throws in the overtime period, while UWM did not visit the foul line in the extra session. The Panthers overcame a 13-point second-half deficit and led 75-73 after a Tone Boyle three with 2:38 remaining in overtime. But, UWM did not score from there. Avery Smith scored 21 points to lead four players in double figures for Milwaukee. Boyle added 17, Anthony Hill had 15 and James Eayrs pitched-in with 13.
On The Road Again
As the calendar turns to February, the Panthers' schedule turns road-heavy. In fact, UWM will play five of its final seven games away from home. The Panthers are 2-6 in true road games this season and also won a pair of neutral-site games in Ames, Iowa, at the beginning of the year. UWM went 5-8 on the road last season after going 2-15 on the road in 2006-07. But, Milwaukee averaged nearly nine wins per season in road games in the four years prior to that.
Busting A Bracket With The Bison
UWM will play host to Summit League leader North Dakota State in a BracketBusters contest Sat., Feb. 21. The game pits two teams that have combined to win 30 games already this season and will start at 7 p.m. at the U.S. Cellular Arena. North Dakota State (16-5) is 10-1 in the Summit League and currently has an eight-game winning streak. Ben Woodside averages 23.7 points per game and scored 60 in a loss to Stephen F. Austin earlier this season. The Bison average 81.5 points per game and shoot nearly 49 percent from the floor as a team. NDSU owns a win at Wisconsin during the 2005-06 season and at Marquette early in the 2006-07 campaign. The matchup also involves a number of intriguing Panther and Wisconsin ties. Bison head coach Saul Phillips spent two years as an assistant coach at UWM before heading to Wisconsin for three seasons. NDSU assistant Will Ryan is a graduate of UWM after playing for his dad, Bo, and Bruce Pearl as a Panther. Plus, NDSU director of operations Dan Weisse played four seasons in Milwaukee, helping UWM to its first-ever NCAA Tournament berth in 2003.
Shoot For A Cure
Fresh off of last weekend's Suits & Sneakers events, the date for the second-annual Shooting for a Cure is now set. The Wisconsin-based event, co-hosted by Coaches vs. Cancer and the American Cancer Society, is set for April 25 at the Marriott Madison West. Last May, the inaugural Shooting for a Cure raised over $60,000 for the fight against cancer in Wisconsin. Once again this April, Bo and Kelly Ryan of Wisconsin, Rob and Deanna Jeter of UWM, Luke and Meredith Reigel of UW-Parkside, Paul and Michelle Combs of UW-Platteville and Todd and Jennie Adrian of Edgewood will co-host the gala.
At The Top Of The Horizon
UWM's 9-3 start in league play has added to a tremendous run of success the Panthers have enjoyed in Horizon League play. In fact, since the 2001-02 season, UWM has the second-most league wins among league schools and sits right behind Butler as play starts this week. Those two schools have also combined to win or share the last seven league regular season titles. The league standings starting in 2001-02:
Wright State 71-54
Green Bay 63-63
Cleveland State 41-84
Youngstown State 31-94
Last Time Out
hit a three-pointer as time expired to complete a stunning comeback as UWM claimed a 63-62 win over UIC Saturday night at the U.S. Cellular Arena. The Panthers trailed by 18 points in the first half and by 10 points with 1:27 remaining before pulling out the win. The final shot came after Kris Harris missed two free throws with 6.2 seconds remaining. Tony Meier
grabbed the rebound, Ricky Franklin
pushed the ball up the court and found James, who buried a three from the wing as the buzzer sounded. Meier put together his best game as a collegian, as the freshman scored 17 points to go with 16 rebounds. Tone Boyle
also had 17 points for Milwaukee, while James Eayrs
had seven points and 10 rebounds.
Winner Winner Chicken Dinner
It was a night many Panther fans will remember for some time, as Milwaukee completed an improbable comeback with a 63-62 win over UIC Saturday. The game-winning shot came from senior Deion James and was his only made field goal all night. The final surge in the comeback included a total of four 3-pointers, with two others coming from Tone Boyle and one coming from Tony Meier. And, the 18-point deficit UWM overcame was actually only the second-largest deficit the Panthers have overcome this season, as Milwaukee rebounded from a 24-point deficit to beat Cal Davis on the first weekend of the season.
True freshman Tony Meier has shown great promise all season long, but Saturday he showed the home fans just what the future might hold. The forward poured in 17 points and collected 16 rebounds, making for his second double-double of the season. He also pitched-in with three assists and a block in 35 minute. Meier also put on display his abilities both inside and out, knocking in three 3-pointers while also scoring inside three times. On the season Meier has started all but one game, missing the game at Iowa State with the flu. He is averaging 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per contest, and some of his numbers are beginning to move onto the list of UWM's Division I freshmen bests. His 37.5 percent shooting from three-point range is third on the freshmen list while his 30 made three-pointers are up to fifth on the list. Meanwhile, he is nearing the top 10 in freshmen history for both points and rebounds.
Setting A Better Tone
Junior Tone Boyle hasn't been immune from the shooting problems of the Panthers lately, as he has made just 18-of-58 shots from the floor over the last four games. But, he has made 14 three-pointers in that span and is 12-of-14 from the free throw line. For the year, Boyle leads the team at 14.9 points per game and 53 three-pointers made while he is shooting 37.6 percent from three-point range. He has also reached double figures in points 18 times in 22 games.
Getting On The Glass
UWM has been putting together some stellar numbers on the glass of late. After a record-setting, 59-rebound performance against Loyola Wednesday night, the Panthers collected 53 more rebounds in the win over UIC Saturday. Over the past four games, UWM is outrebounding its opponent, 47.2-35, and the Panthers have collected 83 offensive rebounds. In fact, UWM has now outrebounded its opponent in six of the last seven games. This comes after the Panthers were outrebounded 10 times in the first 15 games of the season. This progress has now given the Panthers a rebounding advantage on their opponents for the season, with UWM's rebounding margin at +1.7.
More On The Record-Setting Night
The Panthers broke a number of school records with their work on the boards in the win over Loyola last Wednesday. Milwaukee collected 59 total rebounds, besting the 57 it collected against SIU Edwardsville just over two weeks ago while setting a new Division I school record. The all-divisions UWM record is 84, set in 1957 in a game against UW-LaCrosse. Meanwhile, Milwaukee also smashed the old Division I school record for rebound margin, posting a plus-36 mark in the category against the Ramblers. The old record was plus-25, set most recently against Wright State in the 2002-03 season. Finally, the Panthers collected a Division I school-best 34 offensive rebounds, besting the 30 they collected against Northeastern Illinois early in the 1992-93 season.
UWM got back on track with a pair of wins last week, but the Panthers are still looking to work out their overall shooting troubles. Milwaukee is shooting just 30.8 percent from the floor over its last four games, making just 77-of-250 from the field. The Panthers are also shooting under 28 percent from three-point range. This latest stretch comes on the heels of one of UWM's most solid offensive efforts of the season, as the Panthers shot 50 percent from the field and scored 77 points against a Cleveland State team that entered the game among the top-five scoring defenses in the country. The Panthers have had plenty of good offensive performances this season, including a 60 percent from the field performance in the Nov. 19 win over Upper Iowa, making 30-of-50 from the field. The shooting mark is the fourth-best in Milwaukee's Division I history. It was also the best since the Panthers shot 60.6 percent from the floor against Prairie View A&M in the 2004-05 season opener. Milwaukee has also shot 51.8 percent twice this season.
Enough On Offense
UWM's improved overall play on offense this season has established a couple of notable trends. The Panthers are now a perfect 11-0 when shooting at least 40 percent from the field. Plus, UWM is now 10-2 in games when it scores at least 70 points. Until the last four games, the Panthers have been putting up plenty of points this season. UWM's 86 points in the win over Bradley Dec. 20 marked the second-highest offensive output of the season (87 vs. Upper Iowa) and, with another 80-point performance Jan. 3 at Loyola, UWM has now scored 80 or more points five times after doing it just three times all of last season and just once in 2006-07.
Lots Of Threes
Even with some recent shooting troubles, UWM has been quite effective from three-point range this season. The Panthers made 11 three-pointers Saturday night and have now made 10 or more three-pointers in a game seven times this season. This comes after Milwaukee had reached double figures from beyond the arc just eight times combined over the last two seasons. Earlier this season, UWM reached double digits in three-pointers made in three-straight games, a first since it did it four-straight times at the end of the 2004-05 season. Overall, UWM is shooting 34.3 percent from three-point range, having made 43 more three-pointers than its opponents. The Panthers have also not been shy about attempting three-point shots. UWM tried 37 three-pointers in the win over UIC Saturday, the fifth-most in a single game in UWM's Division I history and the most since the Panthers tried 41 at Colorado in December of 2001.
Tired Of The Turnovers
One area of marked improvement for the Panthers in their two-game homestand came in the turnover column. In its two losses in Indiana, Milwaukee committed 38 total turnovers, an average of 19 per game. In their last two outings, the Panthers averaged just 11 turnovers per game. Last Wednesday night against Loyola, the Panthers had just nine turnovers. That was the third time this season the Panthers have been in single digits in the turnover column, but the first time since November.
Senior Avery Smith had a rough weekend in Indiana two weeks ago, but has returned more to form with a pair of overall efforts in his last two outings. He had 17 points, 13 rebounds and six assists in the win over Loyola, with the 13 rebounds marking a collegiate-best and helping him to the second double-double of his career. Then Saturday, Smith had nine points, seven rebounds and two assists before fouling out. These two games came on the heels of scoreless efforts at Valpo and Butler in which he actually got off just seven shots from the floor. When he did not score against Valpo Jan. 22, it marked the first time he was held scoreless in a game since Jan. 5, 2006, when he came off the bench in a contest against UIC.
The Bench Brigade
Early in the season, the Panthers were receiving plenty of contributions from their bench. Then, as the starting lineup evolved, many of those contributions from the reserves dried up. But, of late, the bench has been doing its thing again. Deion James hit the game-winner off the bench Saturday, while James Eayrs and Deonte Roberts combined for 14 points and 16 rebounds. UWM has had 17 double-figure point outings from its bench this season, including four 20-point efforts.
Getting Some Chances
Another notable development for the Panthers of late is the growing number of contributors finding their way into the rotation. UWM used 11 players in the game Wednesday, with Jason Averkamp and Burleigh Porte again seeing spot minutes inside. Averkamp played 21 minutes at Butler and then had three points and four rebounds in eight minutes last Wednesday against Loyola. Burleigh Porte had four rebounds and blocked two shots against Loyola after grabbing four rebounds in nine minutes at Butler. And, Deion James has averaged about 15 minutes per game off the bench in the last six games after playing just a total of 10 minutes in the five games before that.
Still A Lot Of New Faces
While UWM does have some returnees playing key roles this season, the Panthers are still counting on a number of new faces. And, while Avery Smith does have two seasons of college basketball under his belt, he had not played in a college game in 20 months when he made his season debut in mid-November. Players that were not on the roster a season ago have accounted for 929 points (61.8 percent) and 448 rebounds (52.4 percent).
After going 7-3 in the month this season, UWM is now 57-17 in January since the 2001-02 season ... the Panthers are 10-2 at home this season, 62-22 in regular season and postseason contests at The Cell since 2002-03 and 64-15 in regular season league contests over the last 10 seasons ... the 24.1 percent shooting mark against Butler Jan. 24 was the lowest by the Panthers since UWM shot 22.2 percent (12-of-54) against Memphis to start the 2005-06 season ... UWM now has 13 20-point performances this season, one better than the Panthers had all of last season ... Milwaukee has now had four different players record at least one 20-point outing ... the Panthers have also had eight different players record at least two double-figure scoring outings this season ... in UWM's loss at Valpo Jan. 22, the Panthers surrendered a 26-0 run while going scoreless for 12 minutes ... against Green Bay Jan. 9, Milwaukee made all 20 of its free-throw attempts, setting a new league record ... Tone Boyle has played every minute of five games this season, including the overtime game with Green Bay Jan. 9 ... Avery Smith also played every minute of that game, while Ricky Franklin played all 40 minutes at UIC.
UWM heads to Ohio for key contests with Cleveland State and Youngstown State.