The Milwaukee men’s basketball team took a tough 92-82 loss to Green Bay at the UWM Panther Arena on Saturday night in a scoring battle between two of the Horizon League’s top scorers, Sandy Cohen III and Darius Roy, who each led their teams with 28 points and 25 points respectively.
The conference opener was full of fast paced action and both teams took advantage shooting over 40 percent. Green Bay shot slightly better than Milwaukee at an even 50 percent to Milwaukee’s 41.7 percent. The Phoenix also went to the line 33 times and a 9-for-10 showing in the final minutes sealed the deal for them.
“Obviously, a very good game opening up the conference season,” said Panthers coach Pat Baldwin. “It didn’t turn out the way we had hoped tonight, but our guys played with a lot of energy and I thought they were locked into everything that Green Bay wanted to do.”
Milwaukee led the entire first half where they also gained the largest lead of the night of 12. The Panthers opened the game with back-to-back three’s, which became the story of the night as they finished with 12 three-pointers.
Green Bay took advantage most of the second half, leading for the first time and even gaining a double-digit lead. An 11-1 run helped the visitors surge ahead and they could not be stopped. Led by Cohen’s season-high 28 points, it was one bucket after another for the Phoenix. Cohen also added six rebounds, four assists, and made 11-for-12 from the free throw line.
Roy continued to score for the Panthers, especially from deep. The junior was one of five Panthers in double-digits, including DeAndre Abram with 13 points, Jake Wright with 12, Bryce Barnes with 12, and Vance Johnson with 10.
Both Roy and Cohen average 16 ppg and the conference matchup provided a back-and-forth battle. Cohen scored 17 of his 28 in the second half and Roy made 15 of his 25.
“We’re counting on him to make a lot of plays on the offensive end,” head coach Pat Baldwin said when asked about Roy’s performance. “He’s doing a really good job. We’re putting him in positions where he can find his plays out there on the floor. Also, he’s an unselfish kid as well. Number one, I think that Darius wants to win. That’s his first priority and we understand for us to win, we need him involved in the offense. I’ve been very pleased with where he’s at.”
Baldwin also spoke about Cohen.
“He’s definitely up there,” Baldwin said when asked where Cohen ranked among the best players in the Horizon League. “He’s a good player. He can play multiple positions, he can handle it, he can play off the ball. They’ll try to post him every now and again. I haven’t seen everybody in the league this year, but certainly his numbers and what he’s done in the past certainly warrant him to be in that category.”
The Panthers stand at 5-9 overall and 0-1 in conference play. Up next, the Panthers remain at home as a part of a three-game home stretch against Cleveland State on Thursday. Tip off is at 7 p.m.