Jud Dillard scored 17 points as Tennessee Tech claimed a 69-58 win over the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Saturday night at the Klotsche Center.
Jordan Aaron had 15 points while James Haarsma added 14 points and 14 rebounds for Milwaukee, which saw its offensive struggles continue. The Panthers (3-9) shot just 32.2 percent from the floor and had 16 turnovers.
Dennis Ogbe and Lanerryl Johnson added 15 points apiece for the Golden Eagles (6-4), who bolted to a 15-2 lead and then held off a handful of charges by Milwaukee.
Kyle Kelm pitched-in with 10 points and nine rebounds for UWM, just missing his second-straight double-double.
But, in the end, Milwaukee simply couldn’t score enough to pull out the win.
“It is hard to win games if you can’t put the ball in the basket,” Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. “It leads to a lot of the other issues we are seeing. We’re struggling getting the ball in the basket, which then makes us force a few other things on the offensive end. That leads to turnovers and leads to a lack of the energy that you need to box out properly.”
The Panthers dug out of a big early hole to get back in the game by halftime. Tennessee Tech scored the first 10 points of the game and then led 15-2 on a three-point play by Jeremiah Samarrippas with 15:19 remaining. Milwaukee was able to pull within 20-13 on a Haarsma jumper with under 10 minutes left, but TTU restored a 27-15 lead on a basket by Johnson with 7:35 left.
Milwaukee made it a game from three, getting within 29-24 on a three-pointer by Mitch Roelke with 3:58 remaining before closing to within 35-31 at the break.
Tennessee Tech answered quickly at the start of the second half, scoring the first six points to go up 41-31. The Panthers were able to rally to within 51-44 on a three by Austin Arians with nine minutes left but could never get closer. The Golden Eagles closed out the game by making six free throws in the final 72 seconds, capturing their second win over a Horizon League foe this season.
The Panthers return to action in a week, playing Wisconsin next Saturday in an 8:15 p.m. contest.