The Panthers fell short in their first game of the Black and Gold shootout, 69-55, against Concordia-St. Paul on Friday evening at the UWM Panther Arena.
The matchup followed a triple overtime thriller between Elon and FIU. A leak on the roof also hung over Friday’s matchup and delayed the game for an hour.
When asked if this had anything to do with the loss, Milwaukee head coach Pat Baldwin shook his head and said, “No.”
“I don’t think it contributed to anything,” said Baldwin. “And if it does, then I need to correct that and help it. Concordia was just ready to play tonight. It didn’t bother them.”
Milwaukee and CSP matched each other early in the contest with Milwaukee taking an early 11-6 lead. The Golden Bears responded with consistent shooting. CSP shot 56 percent overall on the night to Milwaukee’s 29 percent.
Bryndan Matthews led the Golden Bears with 20 points. Cody Carlson drained perfect 7-7 shooting and 4-4 from the three to add 18 points.
The Panthers defense zoned out on the intensive offense of the Golden Bears and could not connect on offensive opportunities of their own.
“22 out of our 30 shots were open looks,” said Baldwin. “I don’t know if it’s more about execution or just making a shot. We like to tell our guys it’s not ‘your shot,’ it’s ‘our shot.’ We just didn’t put it in the basket tonight.”
By halftime, CSP led by 22 points.
Milwaukee went for a comeback right away, cutting the lead down to 13. Concordia responded with a 8-0 run to put the lead back up to 21.
August Haas, who got the start following an ankle injury to usual starting guard, Bryce Barnes, led the Panthers with 13 points. Brock Stull added 12 points.
In spite of a final 11-2 run by the Panthers, the lead was too long and time too short by the final buzzer.
The Panthers will try it again in the Black and Gold Shootout at the UWM Panther Arena against Florida International this evening at 5:30 p.m. and Elon on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m.
“We’re 0-1,” said Baldwin. “There’s a lot of things we can correct. Florida International will provide an even bigger challenge than Concordia.”