The men’s basketball season started off right on Friday night as the Panthers defeated the University of Denver at the Cable Car Classic hosted by Santa Clara University in California. Milwaukee (1-0) used a late surge in the second half to defeat Denver (0-1) by a final score of 71-58.
Both teams started out the game poorly offensively and the Panthers committed a number of fouls early in the action. Milwaukee junior Austin Arians was the spark plug for the Panthers offense when he netted four three-pointers in a matter of three minutes to put the team ahead 16-10 and pushing the Panthers to 35-30 lead by halftime.
In the second half the Panthers got out to a 43-33 lead before Denver tied the game with a 12-2 run. The Panthers then put their foot on the gas pedal with a 13-0 run and never looked back on the way to a 1-0 start to the season.
“To be 1-0 is huge.” Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. “There are some things we can do better, but I thought our poise was really good. Denver is a tough team to play and they really challenged us.”
Arians led the way with 20 points for Milwaukee along with senior Matt Tiby, who has a lot of hype surrounding him this season. A preseason all-Horizon league pick, Tiby scored 18 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Panthers. Tiby went 12-13 from the charity line in what seemed to be a theme for the Panthers, as the team netted 20 of its 21 attempts from the free throw line as a whole.
Arians and Tiby are expected to continue shouldering the offensive load for UWM all season.
The Panthers play again tonight at the Cable Car Classic against Lipscomb.