Detroit Mercy's season ends in Horizon League Tournament

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (3/4/14) – The Titans second half run came up short as the University of Detroit Mercy men’s basketball team fell to No. 5 seeded Milwaukee, 83-73, in the first round of the Horizon League Tournament. The loss brings the Titans season to an end while Milwaukee will move on to face the winner of the Valparaiso/UIC game in Green Bay on Friday.
 
Detroit (13-19, 6-10 HL) trailed by as much as 21 in the second half, before using a 41-25 run to trim the lead to five, 78-73, with 2:21 left. But Milwaukee (18-13, 7-9 HL) made five-straight free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
 
Junior co-captain Juwan Howard, Jr. led Detroit with a game-high 21 points, six assists and two steals, while freshman guard Matthew Grant poured in 16 points and senior Evan Bruinsma added 14 points to go along with seven rebounds.
 
Detroit opened the game with a quick 7-4 run, before Milwaukee answered back to take a 12-9 lead with 13:33 left. The Titans then tied the score at 14 after a layup from Anton Wilson off a little give and go from Howard.  The Panthers then scored five-straight including a three-pointer from Jordan Aaron, but Grant answered back with a three of his own to make the score 19-17 with 10:27 left. Milwaukee sunk another three to go back up by five, before Bruinsma made a layup with 8:26 left to make the score 22-19. The Panthers then registered a 20-2 run over the next six minutes to double up the Titans 42-21. Detroit did close the half with a 7-0 run capped off by a Grant three-pointer at the buzzer, but still went into intermission trailing 42-28.
 
Milwaukee opened the second stanza with an 11-4 run and it looked like the Titans season was over. But like the true Titans that they are Detroit battled back with a 21-9 run, including six-straight points from Howard, to trim the lead to nine 62-53 with 9:34 left. After a quick 10-0 run from Milwaukee in just three possessions – including a five point play that included two free throws after a made three-pointer – Detroit didn’t give up and responded with a 10-0 run of its own to make the score 72-63 with 5:28 left. After a jumper from Aaron put Milwaukee back up by 11, the Titans kept running and used a 10-4 run, capped off by a Bruinsma layup to make it a five-point game 78-73 with 2:21 remaining. Detroit had the chance on two possessions to get closer but came away empty and had to start fouling, which led to Panthers making five-straight to seal the win.
 
Aaron led Milwaukee with 16 points and six assists, while Steve McWhorter added 15 points and seven rebounds and Kyle Kelm scored 13.
 
Both teams finished shooting 51 percent overall and 36 percent from downtown. The only difference was Milwaukee made nine from deep, while the Titans only connected on five. Both teams also shot well from the charity stripe as Detroit made 20-of-22 and Milwaukee hit 24-of-29. The Panthers did win the battle of the board 27-25, including a pair on the offensive glass late in the closing minute.

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