Green Bay Dealt First Loss at the Buzzer in Road Battle
RENO, Nevada (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) drained a three to put visiting Green Bay (2-1) ahead 69-68 with 11 seconds to play, but Nevada's Deonte Burton crushed the Phoenix with a 25-to-30-footer with 1.3 seconds to play to hand Green Bay its first loss of the season in heartbreaking fashion. It was the second game of the World Vision Classic for the Phoenix, who will finish the tournament on Sunday at 3 p.m. CT against Cal State Fullerton.
Neither team led by more than seven in a game that featured 10 ties and seven lead changes. Green Bay trailed by four (67-63) with 41 seconds to play when Deonte Burton missed the front end of a one-and-one. After a Phoenix timeout, sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) found junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) in the corner and the sharpshooter was fouled after a heady head fake.
Cerroni calmly knocked down all three free throws to cut the lead to one, and after Kevin Panzer split a pair of free throws Green Bay had possession of the ball trailing by two. Head coach Brian Wardle called timeout with 17 seconds to play and drew a play. Brown, who was just 2-for-12 prior to the shot, had his number called and the All-Horizon League big man drained a three-pointer to give his team the lead.
Nevada got the ball to Burton, the reigning Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year. He was slowed down by Sykes and forced to the sideline, but Burton delivered with the desperation triple that fell through the net with just 1.3 seconds left.
It spoiled a great effort by a Phoenix team looking to start the season at 3-0. Getting 10 first-half points from senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa), Green Bay led by as many as six in the first half, but the hosts went to the break leading 35-31. Green Bay had 14 turnovers at the break but committed just three after halftime.
A 6-2 spurt to open the second half tied it for the Phoenix, and neither team led by more than six points throughout the final 20 minutes. A Brown jumper put Green Bay ahead 41-3 9 five minutes into the period, but the Wolf Pack scored the next five points and held the lead until Brown's triple.
Nevada threatened to pull away on numerous occasions, but Green Bay responded with a variety of clutch plays. Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) had all eight of his points and four rebounds after halftime, and Sykes had four points and an assist for a Greg Mays' dunk late in the second half to turn a six-point deficit into a two-point game.
Four Green Bay players reached double figures for the second-straight game. Cougill led the team with 16 points while Cerroni (14 points), Brown (12) and Sykes (11) all also reached double digits.
Green Bay outrebounded its third opponent in as many games with a team effort on the glass. Brown had a team-high seven boards while Fouse and Mays grabbed six each and Cougill grabbed five rebounds.
Read a full season preview of the men's basketball team and watch a 1-on-1 interview with Wardle.
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