Late action drama filled the UWM Panther Arena and it was Brock Stull who rose to the occasion, sinking a game-winning shot in the lane as time expired to push the Panthers over Cleveland State, 63-62.
Milwaukee inbounded the ball with 12 seconds, down by one. Head Coach LaVall Jordan decided to let his players play it out on their own, not taking a timeout in the situation. August Haas dribbled up the floor, found Stull, who then drained the shot after getting separation from his defender.
“I thought about the timeout, but Gary (Waters, Cleveland State coach) is a really good defensive coach and I didn’t want them to get their defense set,” said Jordan. “The plan was to get the ball to Brock and for Brock to make a play — and he did.”
Stull felt reignited after a disappointing first half.
“It was something special,” said Stull. “It feels good. After feeling like I let my team down the first half, having the trust of the guys in that situation boosts my confidence up and feels good.”
The junior was not the only key contribution the Panthers received. Performances from Bryce Nze (6-of-8 from the floor with 13 points, seven rebounds and a season-high five assists) and Cody Wichmann (nine points, including a clutch 3-pointer that provided UWM a five point lead at the time) all were ingredients to the victory.
UW-Milwaukee had one of its top shooting nights as of late, going 51 percent from the floor (25-of-49). It was the offense’s best outing in the last 12 games. The defense also stepped up, holding Cleveland State to 41.3 percent from the floor and just 6-of-23 from the 3-point line.
The Panthers close out their homestand with a day matchup against Youngstown State on Sunday. Tip-off has been swapped from the 2 p.m. slot to noon so fans can catch the Packers take on the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.