James Haarsma pulled down 17 rebounds for the Panthers. Paris Gulley scored 12 points and Evan Richard added 10 for Milwaukee, which shot only 35 percent (20 of 57).
Jordan Miller just missed a triple-double for the Mustangs. He had 16 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. He was backed by a career-high 13 points from Nick Smith and 10 from Matt Zager.
The Panthers led by 16 early in the second half but failed to score in the final 4:20 as the Mustangs pared the deficit to the final margin.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee outrebounded Southwest Minnesota State 41-33 and held a 17-2 advantage in second-choice points.