Milwaukee got off to a fast start to achieve a 66-61 victory against the No. 1 ranked Wright State at the UWM Panther Arena on Saturday night.
Last night’s win broke a four-game losing streak for the Panthers and handed the Raiders their first loss in the Horizon League.
With guards Jeremy Johnson and August Haas out, the Panthers ran the floor again with limited available players.
“Very good win against a very good Wright State team,” head coach Pat Baldwin said. “We had the odds stacked against us having Northern Kentucky and Wright State come in here, but I give our guys a lot of credit for coming in with a lot of fight and a lot of intensity.”
The top-ranked Raiders looked to score early, but the Panthers trumped their offense with consecutive baskets from long-range. Milwaukee scored inside and out, which featured a putback slam from Vance Johnson, to gain a double-digit lead in the first.
Loudon Love led WSU with 16 points and seven rebounds. Everett Winchester added 13 points and another seven rebounds. WSU tied the Panthers 32-32 in rebounds on the night.
Four Panthers achieved double-figures with Brock Stull leading with a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds. Stull also led the team in assists with six.
“We took a step back and looked at ourselves,” said Stull. ” I think the whole mentality is just to not go down without a fight. Right from the beginning, we threw the first punch and it felt good.”
Brett Prahl added 15 points. Bryce Barnes, who was pivotal in the first half with back to back three’s, scored 12. Jeremiah Bell scored 10.
Milwaukee showcased an all-around game with their energy level and scoring effort. The Panthers shot nearly 47 percent to WSU’s 38 percent. This game kept up all night to help the Panthers prevail.
The second half saw back and forth action, as both teams traded baskets. The Raiders went on a run midway through the half and took the lead.
As Wright State charged back at the start, Milwaukee continued to make highlight plays to give them some breathing room on the scoreboard.
Carson Warren-Newsome took to the corner and put the Panthers back up 58-56. A putback by Bryce Nze, who had seven rebounds on the night, gave the Panthers another spark that kept them in the lead and WSU contained over the final three minutes.
“The first thing I tell our guys is to think about the defensive end first and let that be our identity versus the offensive end and trying to let that establish how we play,” said Baldwin. “Sometimes, when you just think about offense, you forget to play defensive and you’re worried more, especially when it doesn’t happen for you and you’re not making shots.”
Milwaukee will remain at home as they take on Youngstown State on Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip. The contest against the Penguins will be broadcast on Fox Sports Wisconsin.