Madison, WI — The Milwaukee (UWM) Panthers came into the Kohl Center knowing they had only won one game against Wisconsin in their 32-game series and not since 1992, and you could tell by their reaction at the end of the game as the Panthers knocked off the Badgers 68-67.

It felt way too much like the Western Illinois stunner, but this time it was to a familiar in-state opponent. Wisconsin led 40-29 at the half and Nigel Hayes even had a career-high 32 points, but that wasn’t even enough for the Badgers to win it tonight. UWM came back in the second half right away on a 7-0 run, and then stayed in range to compete with the Badgers.

The Panthers had their first lead with a little over two minutes remaining. They were close to pulling away for good until Bronson Koenig hit a huge three-pointer with 13.4 seconds left, and the Badgers only trailed by one point. Suddenly, Wisconsin forced a travel out of the timeout on a loose ball, and had a chance to win with 11 seconds left. Koenig dribbled around and took one last three-pointer, but this time it didn’t fall. UWM had pulled off the upset, 68-67.

On the last shot, Koenig said, “We knew we were gonna run a high ball screen. We were in double bonus, so I probably should have drove and got some contact and got to the line.”Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 10.33.52 PM

The 32 points from Hayes were again a career high, as he was basically the team’s only offense all game. He got to the rim effectively, and got to the free throw line with ease. In terms of the rest of the offense, Koenig went absolutely cold in the second half, shooting 2-10 and missing the game-winner despite scoring 16 points. All in all, Hayes went 9-18 from the field, while the rest of the team went 11-37.

The Badgers were able to hold UWM three-point threat Austin Arians to 1-12 from behind the arc, but they had trouble slowing down 5;9″ point guard Jordan Johnson and senior forward Matt Tiby. Johnson had 22 points and four assists (came in averaging 8.3) while Tiby put together 15 points and 11 rebounds.

As you may or may not know, Bo Ryan coached UWM head coach Rob Jeter at UW-Platteville and then had Jeter as an assistant for many years. “I don’t know where to start…We’ve had some tough nights here in the Kohl Center,” Jeter said relieved after the game. Jeter was very appreciative of Ryan, calling him a father figure multiple times and a role model to he and his family: “Tonight we played the game the way he [Bo Ryan] taught me to how to play it.”

Wisconsin will take on Marquette at home Saturday at 12:30 PM in another in-state matchup with a tough Golden Eagles team.

Other Notes

  • Ethan Happ recorded his fourth double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds.
  • Khalil Iverson played 10 minutes and looked healthy after missing the second half against Temple.
  • The Badgers are now 32-2 all-time against the Panthers.
  • Wisconsin led for 36:20 of the game and lost. The sole lead change was all UWM needed.