DAYTON - On the night that Todd Brown scored his 1000th point, he also led his team with 21 points as his Wright State Raiders beat University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee 70-60.
With Wright State down 32-27 at the half and Brown with just six points, it looked like Milwaukee was in the driver's seat. It took the Raider's until the 15:06 mark to tie up the game on a jumper by Scott Grote after a feed from Brown to make it 39-39.
Next for Wright State (17-12, 11-6 HL) was a 3-pointer by Troy Tabler, then another by Brown and the Raiders never trailed again.
At the 10:29 mark Milwaukee's James Eayrs, all 340 plus pounds of him, hit a 3-pointer to get the Panthers within one at 48-47, but a tip-in by Grote, then a jumper by Brown where he was fouled by Deonte Roberts and made the foul shot, put the Raiders up 53-47.
Wright State pushed the lead up to as high as 16 points at the 2:51 mark on a jumper by Grote before Milwaukee (15-13, 10-7 HL) was able to chip it down to the final score.
"Milwaukee came out and put us on our heels a little bit, but we came back played hard and got a win against a good team," said Wright State coach Brad Brownell. "We had good spacing and guys made plays. We kept plugging and plugging and good things happened."
Brownell thought getting the lead put his team a little more at ease and put some pressure on Milwaukee which let his team take control in the second half. He said, "Once we got a lead, we were a little more relaxed, the defense starts taking chances, which might take them out of position."
In the first half Milwaukee came out strong behind the offensive firepower of Eayrs and the four for five 3-point shooting of Ricky Franklin. The 18 rebounds including seven offensive rebounds also helped the Panthers control the first half.
Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter cited a trust factor as a reason his team lost tonight. "We still get to that point where some runs are made and there is a trust factor. Where we need to trust each other and trust the scouting report. When we don't trust it hurts us," said Jeter.
Eayrs' 22 points kept the Panther's in the game as he hit four 3-pointers and hit six straight free throws.
"He does it night in and night out. He is usually around that double/double mark. Tonight he didn't have as many rebounds but he still kept us in the game.
Franklin also scored 18 points and was the only other Panther in double figures.
Wright State is in fourth place and Milwaukee is in fifth place in the Horizon League. That can change after this Saturday when all the Horizon League teams play.
-Milwaukee leads the all-time series 21-17.
-Since 2001-02 season there are four Horizon League teams with winning records.
-Todd Brown became the 23rd player at Wright State to score 1000 points in his career when he hit a jumper early in the night. He said he knew exactly how many points he needed when he came into the locker room and it was written on the dry-erase board.
-This is only the second time all season that Wright State scored 70 points. The Raiders also beat Cleveland State 71-62 on December 30th.
-Milwaukee's next game is at Detroit on Saturday at 2 p.m.
-Wright State's next game is on Saturday against Green Bay at 7 p.m.