MILWAUKEE - Paige Paulsen scored 27 points and pulled down 12 rebounds to lead the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to a 72-60 win over Radford on the first night of the John Thompson Foundation Classic at the U.S. Cellular Arena.
The Panthers also got 12 points apiece from Avery Smith and Allan Hanson while forcing 24 turnovers by Radford.
Chris Oliver led the Highlanders with 18 points.
UWM's led 45-43 with 11:53 remaining before it pulled away. A three by Charlie Swiggett and a basket by Smith pushed the lead to 50-43. Ryan Thornton then followed moments later with a three to make it 55-45, and Radford would get no closer than eight points the rest of the way. A jumper by Paulsen gave UWM its largest lead of the night at 66-51 with 3:17 to play and Paulsen added five more points down the stretch to help secure the win.
"I thought we put together a good second 10 minutes of the first half and then in the second half I thought we played well," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "With such a young team, you want guys to just weather some of the ups and downs. I thought we did a pretty good job of that. The effort is there, and the execution is getting better all the time. I know the guys in the locker room feel good, I feel good, and it gets us off to a positive start for this season."
The Panthers recovered from a slow start to build a 30-24 halftime lead. In
fact, Radford scored the first eight points of the game, holding UWM scoreless over the first 5:38. But, Milwaukee broke the ice on a Paulsen tip-in and eventually tied the game at 13 on a three-pointer by Hanson.
Radford scored seven of the next nine points to rebuild its lead to five and
still led 22-18 with 5:08 remaining. But, sparked by three-point baskets from
Hanson and Paulsen, the Panthers finished the half on a 12-2 run to claim a
six-point lead after 20 minutes.
- From UWM Media Relations