Steve McWhorter and J.R. Lyle led Milwaukee (1-2) with 19 points in a losing effort against visiting IUPUI (1-2) at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena Wednesday night.The game seemed to be going in favor of the Panthers after a nine point lead at half but foul trouble, free throw’s and lack of post presence came back to haunt the Panthers.
“It is disappointing to lose at home. We battled in the first 20 minutes. It was good to see J.R. play well and I thought Steve was gutsy coming back in after the injury,” Milwaukee Coach Rob Jeter said. “We’ve been shooting too many threes and have to get something going inside and we have to be better at the free throw line.”
Milwaukee had a convincing lead in the first half and was up by as much as 13 points at 30-17. With some timely scoring by Mcwhorter and Lyle, Cody Wichmann was also able to give the team some offense and ended the game with 8 points on 3/7 shooting in 28 minutes.
The Panthers were forced to go with a smaller line-up after Matt Tiby was in foul trouble throughout the game. Without Tiby, Wichmann was used as an undersized post, something Jeter expects out of the Sophomore this year. The Panthers struggled in the paint without Tiby, who was again forced to the bench early in the second half after he received a technical foul.
“People have to be accountable for their actions, they really do,” Jeter said. “Knowing how emotional Matt was when he got the technical, (his) second technical in three games, we’ve got to learn a lesson as a team. I mean you cant reward that. I coached this team to be better down the road and to be better people to stick to our rules. I just, at that time wasn’t going to put him back in the game because on how everything transpired.”
The team struggled without him as IUPUI went on a 15-6 run to tie the game at 48 a piece. Tiby never returned after the technical.
Milwaukee led 59-58 late but IUPUI was able to go on a 7-0 run to lead 65-59. Milwaukee climbed their way back after a Wichmann three-pointer made it 67-68. After a quick foul, IUPUI made both free throws and gave the Panthers the ball back down 70-67.
The Panthers failed to do anything on their final possession and turned it over giving the Jaguars a 70-67 road win.
Milwaukee shot 50 percent from the line and only shot 3-10 from the line during the second half. Milwaukee’s bench was outscored 31 to 9 and the Panthers gave up 32 points in the paint.
The games pace really changed after the technical foul was called and IUPUI took control. The Panthers were forced to shoot from the outside as a result and suffered going 7-22 from behind the arc. With the foul trouble, it forced coach Jeter to turn to a young and inexperienced bench.
“Until we can figure out how to play our style, stick to our rules and keep our emotions in check, you know its going to be disappointing sometimes,” Jeter said. “We have a lot of inexperienced guys playing and I thought some of that inexperience showed up.”
Before the game there was a planned rally of students to save the arena, but only six people showed up, four of them being SA senate members. As local media attempted to highlight the fight of UWM to save their arena, the lack of turnout to show support was disappointing to backers.
“It was embarrassing.” said UWM fan, Chad Knodl.
Milwaukee will visit Oklahoma State this Friday.