Feb. 16, 2005
Senior Ed McCants scored 22 points and junior Joah Tucker added 21 to lead host UW-Milwaukee to a 64-53 come-from-behind victory over Butler in a Horizon League game at the U. S. Cellular Arena in Milwaukee, Wis., on Wednesday, Feb. 16. The victory lifted the Panthers to 20-5 on the season and 13-2 in league play and gave UW-Milwaukee its second consecutive league regular season title. Butler slipped to 10-14 overall and 5-9 in league action.
McCants and Tucker sparked a second half surge that carried the Panthers from a 27-26 halftime deficit to the 11-point win. The two combined for 25 of UW-Milwaukee's 38 second half points, while nearly out-scoring the Bulldogs, who tallied 26 points in the final 20 minutes. McCants scored 14 points in the final period, while Tucker chipped in with 11.
The Bulldogs jumped to an early 11-point lead, 13-2, behind eight points from sophomore Brandon Crone, three from junior Bruce Horan and two by junior Brandon Polk. Butler scored the first eight points of the game and never trailed in the first half, though the Panthers closed the period with a 10-3 run to trim the Bulldogs' lead to a single point.
Adrian Tigert gave UW-Milwaukee its first lead of the contest with a basket to open the second half, and the host Panthers held the upper hand for the remainder of the game.
UW-Milwaukee had 20 offensive rebounds in the game and out-scored Butler on second chance points, 20-12. The Panthers also made more free throws (16) than Butler shot (11). UW-Milwaukee had 23 attempts at the Charity stripe.
Crone, who fouled out with 1:28 remaining, matched his career scoring-high and led the Bulldogs with 14 points. Polk recorded his second double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Horan hit four three-point field goal and finished with 12 points. Horan also added a career-high eight rebounds.
The already shorthanded Bulldogs (7-0 sophomore Jamie Smalligan did not make the trip to Milwaukee and freshman guard Gary Patterson was limited to five minutes playing time by illness), suffered a blow in the second half when 6-7 sophomore Brian Ligon left the game with a knee injury. He'll be examined by Butler's team doctor on Thursday.
Butler will step out of league play to host Valparaiso on Saturday, Feb. 19. The game is slated for approximately 2 p.m. at Hinkle Fieldhouse, following a 12 p.m. game between the Butler women's team and UIC.