MILWAUKEE – The Panthers played a thriller against South Dakota on Thursday night, taking the Coyotes to a double-overtime affair before falling, 92-91, at Panther Arena, when South Dakota guard and Madison, Wis. native Tre Burnette hit a floater in the lane with just over a second left.
It was sort of a back-to-Earth experience for Milwaukee, who was riding high off of the huge victory at Wisconsin and the record-setting Klotsche Center win over Judson. Coach Rob Jeter talked about South Dakota’s energy.
“Obviously, this is a tough one to swallow, I’ve just got to be honest,” he said. “But first, you have to give a lot of credit to South Dakota. They came in here from the beginning and really established their game, their tempo, their style. They frustrated us, we were never able to use our size to our advantage.”
Despite the loss, senior forward Matt Tiby had a monster game, scoring 31 points and snaring 17 rebounds. Junior swingman Austin Arians chipped in 16, including four three-pointers.
The Panthers made a run late in the second overtime to turn a five-point deficit into a one-point lead. The two teams traded buckets after that, setting the stage for Burnette’s heroics.
In addition, the home squad made a small rally to send the game into the second overtime. The Coyotes had taken a five-point lead, but freshman guard JayQuan McCloud knocked down two threes, and Tiby later converted and and-one to tie the game after South Dakota scored five of the six points following those deep shots.
However, none of this may have happened had it not been for an officiating mistake at the end of regulation. Junior guard Jordan Johnson drove the lane and missed a layup as the shot clock expired, but Springs grabbed the rebound and scored as the game clock turned to zero. However, an inadvertent whistle before that wiped out the put-back, and a three after time was put back on the clock was missed, sending the game into overtime.
Milwaukee had a rough first half from the field, shooting 26 percent en route to a 37-26 deficit at the break. The team finished with a shooting percentage of 38.9.
The Panthers travel to Minneapolis to play Minnesota at Williams Arena on Wednesday at 7 p.m. to close out the non-conference schedule.