Panthers come from behind to top IUPUI on the road

INDIANAPOLIS, IN (MILWAUKEE ATHLETICS) - DeAndre Gholston scored a season-high 24 points and the Milwaukee men's basketball team shot 66.7 percent in the second half to earn an 83-76 victory over IUPUI Saturday afternoon at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

The Panthers (7-6, 6-5 Horizon League) overcame an early 13-point deficit against the Jaguars (4-7, 3-7 Horizon League) and then scored 13 of the final 19 points of the contest to earn the hard-fought victory.

"It's a turnaround from last night and I am proud of our guys for bouncing back and showing that resolve and that toughness that you need in order pick up a tough road win," head coach Pat Baldwin said. "To shoot 67 percent in the second half, that was a testament to our guys getting to the basket and playing tough. We were a different team in this game."

In addition to the hot second-half shooting, the defense clamped down after the break to hold the Jags to under 30 percent (.286) to help the cause.

"The name of the game was our defense and that was what really changed the tide in the second half," Baldwin said. "We became a little more stingy on the defensive end and tried to take away their two best scorers in Burk and Minnett. To hold a team like this to 28 percent when they have two guys that can really score is really a good performance for our guys."

Gholston's 24-point effort marked his third outing of 20-plus points in his last four games and included six rebounds and three assists.

Te'Jon Lucas contributed a statline of 14 points/7 rebounds/5 assists/3 steals, while C.J. Wilbourn came up big with 11 points and a career-high eight rebounds.

Freshman Donovan Newby chipped in 10 points and three assists while making the first start of his collegiate career.

Jaylen Minnett (game-high 26 points) and Marcus Burk (19) led the Jaguars.

Down six at the break, MKE made quick work of it, helped along by a four-point play from Newby at the 16:21 mark. Gholston's free throws with around 12 minutes to go put the Panthers ahead for the first time on the day at 51-50.

That sparked a push. Lucas added a circus shot on a drive, with his free throw to follow part of eight straight points by Milwaukee that came during an overall 12-3 run that flipped the script on the game.

IUPUI would not go easy, coming up with eight unanswered of its own that brought the contest to a 70-70 deadlock.

Wilbourn then hit a tough layup and the teams would essentially trade baskets from there, with Lucas hitting 3-of-4 free throws while also finding Newby with a 50-foot assist for a layup to put it away in the closing seconds.

The Panthers did a solid job in coming back from a slow start, putting such a large dent in what was an early 19-6 hole that they were within a basket on a handful of occasions in the closing minutes of the period. Burk and Minnett were huge for IUPUI early, accounting for the first 23 points as the home team built that 19-6 advantage.

No panic for MKE, with a pair of Lucas free throws capping a 10-4 spurt to make it 23-16. The push continued, as Gholston hit a three to get his team back within a bucket at 25-23 with just over five minutes remaining and again on another Gholston triple at the 1:33 mark that cut the deficit to 31-29 before the Jags netted the last four points to make it 35-29 at the break.

Helped by the hot second half, the Panthers finished at 49.1 percent (28-of-57) for the day, with the 54 points scored in the second half a season-high for a period. MKE did end up winning the rebounding battle, 40-39, while holding the Jags to just 32.2 percent (21-of-65) from the floor in the contest.

Up next, the Panthers open February with a pair of home games, welcoming Northern Kentucky starting Friday at 5 p.m.

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