Ice-cold shooting sinks UWM again
With their Horizon League opener looming just a few short weeks away, the UW-Milwaukee Panthers are headed in the wrong direction on the offensive end of the court.
Undone by another tough night shooting the basketball, UWM dropped a 75-61 decision to Drake on Thursday at UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena that wasn’t as close as the final score indicated.
The Panthers (2-7) connected on just 30.8 percent of their shots in the first half and 34 percent overall in their first home game since an 0-2 showing last week at the Belfast Hall of Fame Classic in Northern Ireland.
In its two games in that tournament, Milwaukee hit 40.6 percent and 32.8 percent of its shots and now sits at 39.8 percent for the season, a figure that ranks right near the bottom of the 320 Division I teams.
“We’re still incorporating all our guys and still getting used to the things that will help us win,” said coach Pat Baldwin, who lost his three top scorers to transfer in the off-season. Eight of the 11 players who saw action against Drake weren’t even at UWM a year ago.
“We’ve just got to find more of them, and continue to work hard to get (to a winning) level.”
The Panthers actually got out to a quick lead, only to see a balanced Drake team regroup.
The Bulldogs (6-1) finished the first half on a 17-4 run over the final 7 minutes 3 seconds of the first half to take a 38-22 lead into intermission, and they slowly built on it from there.
Drake led by as many as 24 points in the second half, with UWM only able to rely on solid free-throw shooting – 17 of 18 over the final 20 minutes, and 21 of 24 for the game.
“We got out to a decent lead and it allowed our guys to feel good about themselves,” said Baldwin. “I think the bottom line is we gave up some open threes toward the middle part of the first half that kind of opened them up and gave them some confidence. That started their run that did us in, and we just couldn’t recover after that.
“Certainly, without question, this is a disappointing loss because we were ready for this game. But Drake ultimately took control, finished off the first half well and kind of cruised and coasted and did all the things they needed to do to keep us at bay.
“We’ve got to regroup from this and get better. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”
Darius Roy led the Panthers with 19 points, while DeAndre Abram and Vance Johnson each had 12 points and eight rebounds.
Brady Ellingson, a Sussex Hamilton graduate and transfer from Iowa, was one of three players in double figures for Drake with 11 points.
Stoughton native Nick McGlynn led the Bulldogs with 15.