LAS VEGAS — Steve McWhorter had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Milwaukee snapped a two-game skid Monday with a 56-52 win over the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the MGM Grand Main Event men’s basketball tournament.
McWhorter assisted Matt Tiby’s layup to give the Panthers (2-3) the lead for good at 52-51 with 43 seconds left.
Milwaukee followed with a defensive stop, and Justin Jordan and Tiby hit both their free throws on consecutive trips to the line to secure the win.
UL-Lafayette (1-3) trailed 24-14 at halftime, but the Cajuns rallied, using a 19-5 run to take a 44-38 lead on Brian Williams’ three-point play with 7:08 left.
Milwaukee went back in front with a 9-1 run, and the teams battled back-and-forth from there.
Williams and Xavian Rimmer led UL-Lafayette with 12 points each, and Devonta Walker had 10 and six rebounds. Williams also had six rebounds and two steals.
“We talked in the locker room at halftime and told them that we needed to pick up the intensity,” Cajuns coach Bob Marlin said. “I’m proud of the way we came back, even taking the lead in the second half, but we let it slip. We controlled the game, but didn’t make enough shots and made too many turnovers at the wrong time.”
UL-Lafayette committed two of its season-low 16 turnovers in the final minute, the second being a steal by Steve McWhorter who found Matt Tiby for the go-ahead layup with just 43 seconds left. Milwaukee added a pair of free throws from Justin Jordan, and the Cajuns missed on a pair of scoring chances in the game’s final 30 seconds to allow the Panthers to finish it off.
The Cajuns forced a season-high 22 turnovers by the Panthers, turning them into 23 points, and held the edge in both points in the lane (26-16) and transition points (8-2). However, the Panthers held the edge on rebounds (38-27) and hit 20 of 25 free throws, including 16-of-19 in the second half.