MOSCOW, Idaho (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Playing its fourth game out West in five days, Green Bay (2-3) saw big man Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) pick up his second foul less than four minutes in, and after an early 10-0 run by host Idaho (1-2) followed, the Phoenix never recovered in a 72-62 defeat in non-conference men's basketball action at Memorial Gym in Moscow, Idaho.
Brown knocked down a three-pointer to give the Phoenix an early 7-6 lead at the 17:15 mark of the first half, but on the ensuing possession was hit with his second foul on a Kyle Barone three-point play and went to the bench. He played just six first-half minutes and had five points.
Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) scored his sixth point on a jumper to knot the score at 11 five minutes in, but the host Vandals scored the next 10 points to pull in front 21-11. Senior Brennan Cougill's (Sioux City, Iowa) three-pointer, layup and three-point play cut the margin to single digits on three occasions in the first half before Idaho led 39-29 at the half. Cougill (10) and Sykes (8) had 18 of the team's points in the period.
Green Bay came into the game leading the Horizon League with a rebounding margin of plus-11.2, but Idaho had an 18-8 edge on the glass and held a 24-10 margin in the paint in the opening half.
Buckets from Cougill and Sykes opened the second half for Green Bay cut the deficit from 13 to nine, but the Vandals scored the next seven points. Idaho led by 19 with 6:37 to play.
Junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, WIs.) made two of his season-high three three-pointers over the course of a 15-4 Phoenix run to cut the deficit to eight with 1:18 to play and Idaho missed the front end of a one-and-one. However, Green Bay missed a trio of three-pointers on the next possession and could get no closer.
Cougill finished with 19 points for the second-straight season against Idaho and added six rebounds and four assists. Sykes added 13 points and four assists while Brown and Cerroni contributed nine points apiece.
Green Bay returns home for its second game of the season at the Resch Center on Saturday when the Phoenix hosts North Dakota State at 7 p.m. The Bison are currently 4-1 on the season, including an 83-80 overtime win over Youngstown State on Monday and a 14-point win at Duquesne on Tuesday.
Read a full season preview of the men's basketball team and watch a 1-on-1 interview with Wardle.
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