Saturday, January 23, 2016

Johnson's 25 points and six assists leads Milwaukee past Detroit

                                    Photo Credit: Geno Green

Going from 0 to 100 miles per hour in a matter of seconds is a rare trait to find in a point guard.

Enter Jordan Johnson.

Johnson's career-high 25 points led the Milwaukee Panthers (14-6, 5-2 Horizon) to an 83-80 win over the Detroit Titans (9-9, 3-4 Horizon) on Saturday afternoon at the UWM Panther Arena.

A bigger takeaway turned out be Johnson's game-high six assists and how Panthers coach Rob Jeter complimented his speed and ability to catch opponents looking far away.

"I have said over and over again how he can go from a couple of miles per hour, to 55 in a second and catch defenses off-guard is amazing," Jeter said.

Matt Tiby added 14 points, on 5-of-12 shooting and eight rebounds for the Panthers.

Despite some first half struggles, UDM's Paris Bass finished with 18 points on 6-of-13 shooting from the field.

Bass came into Saturday's game as the second leading scorer in the Horizon League with 19.0 PPG. The first 20 minutes were the opposite with two points, on 1-of-4 shooting.

Chris Jenkins made up for Bass's lack of offensive production in the early stages, finishing with a team-high 20 points on 8-of-8 free throws and four makes from long range.

Game Recap:

The Titans struggled with their ability to make shots going 2-for-10 in the first 4:11 of the game.

Milwaukee could not take advantage in that stretch as the game stayed within reach at 9-6.

The shooting touch found its way back into Milwaukee's lap as its lead grew to 20-11 with 10:34 left in the first half.

As time wore on in the half, so did the Panthers' shooting as they went 9:39 without converting a field goal.

Detroit's offense woke up during that period by going on a 14-2 run to take a 25-22 lead and would carry the momentum into the half with a 37-31 advantage.

With UDM up six to start the second 20 minutes, Milwaukee opened the half on a 10-4 run and Jeter believed the fast start helped build momentum in the second half.

"We re-empahsized a few things at the half and thought we did a good job in the first five minutes," Jeter said.

The majority of the second half would see both teams exchanging leads until the final minute of play when Milwaukee led 77-73 and Bass missed for of five free throws in a 24-second stretch. 

Things became intense with 29 seconds left in the game as Josh McFolley was assessed a technical foul and Titans coach Ray McCallum believed he had a right to be angry.

"[Josh] thought he got a blow to the eye and from my viewpoint, it should have been a technical the other way," McCallum said.

Six seconds later and with Milwaukee clinging to a 79-75 lead, McFolley's emotions boiled over and exchanged words with Johnson.

Double technicals were assessed, but McFolley picked up his second and would be ejected from the game.

Johnson admitted to losing his cool, but knows the responsibility boils down to keeping calm and making sure his teammates do the same.

"I have to calm everyone down and make sure I do my best to keep control," Johnson said.

Despite a three-point make by Jarod Williams as time expired, Detroit's best efforts to hang around fell short as Milwaukee came away victorious.

Looking Ahead:

Both teams return to action on Jan. 25, as Detroit travels to Green Bay, while Milwaukee hosts the conference's leading scorer Kay Felder and Oakland.

Jeter knows what Felder can bring as the leading scorer in the conference at 25.5 points per game and will look at the film in advance.

"We know we have our hands full playing against one of the best guards in the country and once I watch film tonight and tomorrow, we will get a feel for how to control him," Jeter said.

Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. for both games.

Social Media:

Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.