Haarsma's 26 Points Not Enough To Upset Detroit
MILWAUKEE - Jason Calliste scored 22 points and Detroit held off a valiant effort by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to claim an 82-74 win Thursday night at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers battled back from an early 16-point deficit to capture a three-point lead midway through the second half. Milwaukee then had a chance to tie the game in the final minute before Detroit (16-8, 8-3) salted away the victory with five free throws.
James Haarsma scored 26 points off the bench to lead the Panthers (5-19, 1-9), with the senior going past 1,000 points in his Division I career at UWM and Evansville.
Nick Minnerath added 18 points while Doug Anderson and Ray McCallum tallied 16 apiece for the Titans, who shot 52.5 percent for the game in staying within a half-game of the top spot in the Horizon League.
The Panthers turned what looked like a runaway into a competitive game over the first 20 minutes. Detroit opened up early leads of 12-2 and 20-4 and looked like it might never be threatened. Instead, Milwaukee rallied. The Panthers used a 12-0 run to turn a 29-14 lead into a 29-26 game, with an Evan Richard basket capping the burst.
Milwaukee then crawled to within 30-29 on a three-point play by Haarsma and pushed into a 33-all tie on a banker by Haarsma with 1:50 remaining.
Calliste made a three late in the half to give Detroit a 36-33 edge at the break and then started the second half with two more, making it 42-36.
But Milwaukee again was not going to go away. A dunk by Demetrius Harris brought the Panthers to within a point at 42-41 and a three-pointer by Paris Gulley 40 seconds later tied the game at 44-apiece. The Panthers then took a 49-46 lead on a three by Ryan Haggerty with 13:10 remaining before Detroit answered with the next four points to retake the lead for good.
Still, after going down by as many as seven, the Panthers pulled to within 69-67 on a dunk by Harris with 2:25 left and then within 73-72 on a corner three by Haarsma with 1:24 remaining. McCallum scored on the other end for Detroit before Aaron missed a wing three that would have tied the game for Milwaukee, effectively ending the Panthers' hopes. Detroit then made five throws and scored one basket on a runout to hang on for the win.
Milwaukee stays home for a Saturday night contest with Wright State. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and is both Hall of Fame Night and Alumni Night. The Panthers will honor the 2002-03 men's basketball team that made the NCAA Tournament, while also recognizing the five new members of the Bud Haidet Athletics Hall of Fame. Plus, the annual Alumni Game is set for 4 p.m.