In what was the beginning of a crucial road trip for the Panthers, the Milwaukee Men’s basketball team had their strong-willed comeback attempt thwarted by a Wright State free throw with 3.2 seconds left, losing in an 84-83 decision Thursday night in Dayton.
Milwaukee trailed the majority of the game, especially in the first half. The Raiders were unconscious to begin play, humming at 80 percent shooting late into the first half. JT Yoho sketched up 21 points in the first half alone and finished with 29 total points. His efforts helped Wright State put forth a 35-15 lead with just under nine minutes left in the first half.
From that point in the game, the Panthers turned on the ignition switch. They trimmed the lead to ten on a 15-5 run of their own, headlined by a trio of threes – two by Cody Wichmann.
Austin Arians trimmed the deficit even further with a long three from the wing at 47-40, but Wright State headed into the locker room with a 52-42 advantage.
The Panthers shot a very respectable 57.1 percent (12-of-21) in the first half but were out done by the Raiders’ 70.4 percent (19-of-27). That percentage is the highest percentage by any Horizon League team in a first half this season.
Heading late into the second half, Milwaukee found themselves in a 11-point deficit with only five minutes remaining. But the Panthers clawed back, making it a ball game.
“We just haven’t panicked that way this year, “ Jeter said. “Basketball is a game of runs and you just try and keep plugging away at it. That is why I like this group so much – they are resilient and try to figure out a way to make things happen.”
Milwaukee would find a way to make things happen once again following a jumper by JT Yoho put Wright State up 82-76 with only 35 seconds remaining. But J.R. Lyle came up clutch with a three-pointer and then stealing the in-bounds pass. He then found Akeem Springs for a layup that made it a one-point game at 82-81.
After Yoho went one-of-two from the charity stripe, the Panthers had a chance to tie it up and seemingly send it to overtime, and that’s just what they did. Matt Tiby was fouled after going up after a Jordan Johnson missed layup and calmly sunk a pair of free throws to tie the game up at 83 apiece.
However, disaster soon struck for Milwaukee. A foul was whistled at midcourt on J.R. Lyle, sending Joe Thomasson to the line for the Raiders. Thomasson made the first and missed the second, but Springs’ half-court heave went wide as the clock ran out.
Akeem Springs led the Panthers’ offense with 21 points, tagging six rebounds and three assists as well. Austin Arians finished with 16 points, along with Jordan Johnson, who notched his fourth double-double of the season with ten assists.
The Panthers remain on the road and travel to Horizon League newcomer Northern Kentucky for a game Saturday evening. Tip off is scheduled for 6 p.m. CST.