Playing before its largest home crowd ever (by far), UWM ran off 11 straight
points in the last 3 minutes of the game to tie it at 58 and ran away from
the Phoenix in overtime, winning 75-68. The crowd of about 8,600 which piled
into the MECCA was more than double UWM's best crowd since returning to
Division I three years ago.
Down 58-47, UWM's Craig Greene hit a leaning bank shot to start the run.
Marc Mitchell hit one of two free-throws after UWGB's next possession to
bring the Panthers within eight with about two minutes left. After UWGB missed
a bonus FT, Pat Easterlin canned a 3 with a guy in his face to make it 58-53
with about 1:20 left. After UWGB missed another bonus Mitchell came down and
made a beautiful driving layup, getting fouled on the play. While in the air
he switched the ball to his left hand to avoid the block and draw the foul.
After UWGB missed a two-shot foul, UWM came down with 26 seconds left and a
chance to tie the game. Mitchell missed a driving shot from the lane, but the
5-11 senior skyed above two 6-9 UWGB players to get the board and rolled a
pass out to Easterlin as he fell to the floor. Easterlin missed a 3-point
attempt, Corey Statham missed a tip attempt of the miss then Greene put in
Statham's miss with two seconds left in regulation.
UWM scored the first six points of OT and coasted to the win. Greene led UWM
with 25 points. Mitchell gave another herculean effort as the senior point
guard scored 20, grabbed 12 rebounds and had six steals. With the exception
of the Utah game, he has played superb all year.
UWM is now 14-1 on the year and really should start to get a little attention
for the way they've been playing. Although the Panthers won 18 games in their
first year of Division I play two years ago and won another 20 last year, they
haven't been selected for post-season play. This year's group seems determined
to change that. A Sunday matchup with Cal State Northridge is next on the
agenda for the Panthers.