Sooners sent home by Panthers
Jacksonville, FL (Sports Network) – Boo Davis scored a game-high 26 points and
grabbed six rebounds to lead the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers over the
Oklahoma Sooners, 82-74, in a first-round game of the Minneapolis bracket in
the NCAA tournament.
Joah Tucker contributed 24 points, including 13-of-16 from the free-throw
line, and Adrian Tigert added 14 points and five rebounds for the 11th-seeded
Panthers (22-8), who will face third-seeded Florida on Saturday.
Terrell Everett scored 21 points, Kevin Bookout tallied 14 points and eight
boards and Taj Gray, Oklahoma’s leading scorer and rebounder, added 13 points
and eight rebounds before fouling out for the Sooners (20-9), who lost their
last three games.
Down by two at the break, Oklahoma tied the game at 35 early in the second
half after David Godbold connected on a three-pointer. Later, after two
Bookout free throws knotted the game at 39, Wisconsin-Milwaukee went on
another spurt to break the game open.
Tucker converted a conventional three-point play to start the flurry and his
free throw about five minutes later capped a 14-2 run that gave the Panthers a
53-41 lead with 11:20 left to play.
A three from Godbold temporarily interrupted Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s burst, but
the Panthers responded with back-to-back buckets to take a 57-44 advantage.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee pushed its lead to 62-49 before Oklahoma began to chip
away again. A quick 8-2 burst pulled the Sooners back within 64-57 and, after
a Panthers’ bucket, Gray cut the deficit down to six after he converted a
But like they did the entire game, the Panthers pulled away just as the
Sooners got within striking distance. On Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s next
possession, Gray fouled out and the Panthers began a steady trek to the
charity stripe that pushed their lead back to nine at 71-62 late in the fourth
Oklahoma, which never led in the game, didn’t get closer than seven points the
rest of the way as Chris Hill, Tucker and Davis each took turns sinking free
throws down the stretch to seal the win for the Panthers.
After the teams battled to an early 10-10 tie, Wisconsin-Milwaukee went on a
14-4 spurt, capped by a three-pointer from Tucker, to open a 24-14 lead with
8:33 left in the first half.
Oklahoma rallied, however, and a layup by Gray whittled the Sooners’ deficit
down to two, 33-31, at the half. Tucker led the Panthers with 11 points, while
Bookout paced Oklahoma with 10 on 5-of-6 shooting.
Oklahoma made its 25th consecutive postseason appearance, the longest active
streak in the nation…The Panthers were back in the tournament as Horizon
League champions for the third time in the last four seasons…Wisconsin-
Milwaukee and Oklahoma never faced each other prior to their first-round
matchup…Oklahoma hadn’t lost in the first round of the NCAA tournament since
2001, when the fourth-seeded Sooners were upset by No. 13 seed Indiana State.