Ice-cold shoot­ing sinks UWM again

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel - - Sports - Todd Rosiak

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.

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