Jordan Aaron scored 34 points and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee scored 59 points in the second half to claim a 95-80 win over Ohio Dominican Saturday afternoon at the Klotsche Center.
The Panthers (4-10) shot 56 percent from the floor in the second half and used an 18-6 burst to open the second half in putting the game away.
Aaron's 34 points came off the bench, as the usual starter played as a reserve after being stuck in New York most of the week because of bad weather. In fact, he only made it back to Milwaukee Friday night and did not practice before scoring the most points by a Panther since 2006.
Demetrius Harris also experienced similar weather problems in attempting to return from Arkansas but came off the bench to score 14 points and add five rebounds and four blocks.
Paris Gulley added 20 points as UWM posted its highest point total since 2009 and its most second-half points since 2003.
"We put a little bit on (pressure defense) in the first half, but it's just something with this team where it takes us a little more time to get going," Milwaukee head coach Rob Jeter said. "The run was big for us and it was due to our pressure. We were just trying to get them to take some quick shots, which they did, and then rebound the ball and come down on the other end and score instead of trying to grind it out in the half court."
UWM actually trailed by as many as four points in the early going but recovered to take a 36-32 lead at the half. The Panthers then turned up their full-court pressure to break the game open, going ahead 54-38 on a three by Aaron with 16 minutes remaining.
Ohio Dominican did pull to within nine points midway through the second half before the Panthers used another burst to open a 20-point lead. UWM then made liberal use of its bench, with 12 players seeing action.
The travel difficulties combined with Kyle Kelm's concussion in the game against Wisconsin had Milwaukee using a new starting five. Freshman J.J. Panoske and junior Mitch Roelke each made their first career starts, while senior Ryan Haggerty made his first start of the season. Gulley and James Haarsmawere the other Milwaukee starters.
"Maybe they don't need to practice - that's probably the best way to put it," Jeter joked of Aaron and Harris. "Luckily they made it in time because they really sparked us today."
Milwaukee now turns its attention to Horizon League play, which opens Thursday when the Panthers visit Detroit. The game will air live on ESPN3 beginning at 7 p.m. EST/6 p.m. CST.