Though it was a close game early on in the second half, the Milwaukee men’s basketball team did not have enough in the tank to overcome Wright State, who pulled away with a 76-65 victory Thursday night in Dayton.
The Panthers faced an 11-point deficit and were able to trim the Raiders’ lead to just two in the beginning of the second half, but that would be as close as they would get. Wright State responded with a 12-2 run that established control for the remainder of the game. Milwaukee would get within five two separate times later on, but could never get over the hump.
Milwaukee Head Coach LaVall Jordan tipped his cap to his opposition.
“Give Coach Nagy credit,” said Jordan. “They made some adjustments and did a really good job defending us in the post. So that is difficult — when we have been at our best, we get production out of Brett (Prahl) and Bryce (Nze). Their big guys did a really good job of fronting and denying our post touches.”
Brock Stull was big again for the Panthers, something that has become the norm this season. The redshirt sophomore finished with 19 points. Jordan noted how he has successfully transitioned into becoming a special player for the team.
“He’s (Stull) taken the role on as we’ve asked him to,” said Jordan. “He’s growing in it every day and learning. I liked his aggressive mindset early. He was looking to attack and looking to score and that was big for us.”
Cody Wichmann poured in 18 points, going 6-of-10 from the floor. Jeremiah Bell poured in seven off the bench.
For Wright State, Grant Benzinger was what made the wheels turn. He posted a double-double with 21 points along with a career-high 19 rebounds — nearly doubling his former high of 10. Whenever the Panthers would make a run, it was Benzinger who would eliminate any hopes of a comeback, going 5-of-6 from 3-point land.
“I thought the key to the game was Grant Benzinger,” said Jordan. “He set the tone in the first half and in the second. The threes he hit to start the half were absolutely huge to get them some separation.”
The Panthers are off until tomorrow when they head down to Highland Heights and take on Northern Kentucky. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m. CST.