MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Wisconsin-Milwaukee made a hot-shooting debut in the National Invitation Tournament.
Dylan Page scored 22 points and Ed McCants added 21 as the Panthers routed Rice, 91-63, in an opening-round contest at U.S. Cellular Arena.
Page, who also grabbed nine rebounds, snapped a 27-27 tie with a basket with 4:02 left in the first half. It ignited a 9-0 spurt that gave Wisconsin-Milwaukee a 36-27 lead. The Panthers started the second half with an 11-0 run to stretch a seven-point halftime edge.
Joah Tucker contributed 14 points as Wisconsin-Milwaukee (20-10) shot 57 percent (33-of-58) from the field en route to the first postseason victory in school history. The Panthers played in the NCAA Tournament for the first time last season.
UWM claimed its first Horizon League regular-season championship but suffered a three-point loss to Illinois-Chicago in the tournament final. It will play Boise State in the next round.
Brock Gillespie had 15 points and J.R. Harrison chipped in 12 for the Owls (22-11), who shot just 37 percent (15-of-41) in their first postseason appearance since the 1993 NIT.