Panthers Pull Out Double Overtime Win At IUPUI

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by Milwaukee Panthers Athletics

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee put four players in double figures and scored the final nine points of the second overtime to claim a 95-88 win over IUPUI Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (8-22) took the lead for good on an Austin Arians three-point play with 2:41 remaining and then added four free throws along with a Paris Gulley layin to hang on for their first road win of the season.

Jordan Aaron, who played all 50 minutes of the game, scored 28 points to go with six assists to lead Milwaukee. Demetrius Harris added 21 points and Gulley 20, while Harris also had nine rebounds, three steals and two blocks. J.J. Panoske had 11 points.

Greg Rice scored 23 points and Sean Esposito 22 for IUPUI (6-23).

Each team took turns making big shots to extend the game. Esposito's three-pointer with under a minute to play in regulation tied the game at 77. Then, Aaron's driving layin with 14 seconds left in the first overtime knotted the game at 86.

Milwaukee struggled to slow IUPUI offensively but came through when it counted. The Jaguars made just 5-of-17 shots from the field in the two overtime periods and didn't score over the final 4:36 of the game.

"It wasn't the best basketball you've seen in stretches but we did do some things late that I thought were better," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. We got to the free throw line and we got the ball in the paint. Jordy's shot to tie the game in overtime was on a drive down the lane.

"I'm just proud these guys could battle through adversity. When they hit the three to tie the game in regulation we were down. But we picked ourselves back up and pulled out the win."

Offensively, the Panthers hit nine 3-pointers in the first half and then pounded the ball inside to Harris in the second half.

"We've spent a lot of time on the perimeter because we've lacked a go-to guy inside, but Meech has certainly developed into that for us," Jeter said. "Today he made a lot of very strong post moves and made some free throws for us down the stretch."

The Panthers rode some hot three-point shooting to a four-point halftime lead. Milwaukee led pretty much the entire way in the first half, building a 16-11 lead on a Panoske three before pushing the edge to 28-21 on a three-pointer by Gulley.

The advantage eventually grew to 34-23 when Aaron hit his fifth 3-pointer of the half before IUPUI rallied. The Jaguars closed to within 35-31 on a layin by Mitchell Patton and it was 37-33 at the break.

Milwaukee restored a seven-point lead early in the second half before IUPUI rallied to take a 48-47 lead on an Esposito layin with 14:28 remaining. The Panthers again went back up six points but the Jaguars answered with a 7-0 run for a 57-56 led. IUPUI eventually led by as many as four points before Milwaukee fought back to restore a four-point lead of its own, going up 75-71 with 1:45 left.

IUPUI answered again, tying the game at 77 on a P.J. Hubert three with 53 seconds remaining, and Milwaukee then missed two shots in the final minute, sending the game to overtime.

Both teams held slim leads in the first overtime session before Esposito made a three-pointer with 37 seconds left to put IUPUI up 86-84. But Aaron responded with a layin with 14.6 seconds remaining to tie the game at 86 before Rice missed a challenged layin just before the buzzer.

IUPUI then scored the first basket of the second overtime with 4:36 remaining but would never score again as Milwaukee pulled away to claim the win.

The Panthers now wrap up their regular season Tuesday night at Green Bay. The game tips off at 7 p.m. and will air on ESPN3.

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