CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Visiting Green Bay (3-4) led Virginia (6-2) in the first half and trailed just 31-27 at halftime, but the host Cavaliers used a 17-2 run midway through the second half to pull away for a 67-51 victory over the Phoenix in non-conference men's basketball action at John Paul Jones Arena.
Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) overcame foul trouble to lead Green Bay with 14 points and sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) added 12 points, but the Phoenix could not overcome 20 points each from Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell and 60 percent shooting from the Cavaliers in the second half.
In a half in which neither team led by more than five points, Green Bay led 27-26 with 2:02 remaining before halftime after a pair of free throws from senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa). Virginia got a three from Harris on the next possession and led 31-27 at intermission.
The Cavaliers scored the first five points of the second half, but six-straight points from Sykes and a three-point play by junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) cut the margin to four (40-36) with 15:27 to play. Virginia responded with the 17-2 run to extend to its biggest lead of the night and the Phoenix could get no closer than 12 the rest of the way.
Brown picked up his fourth foul during the run and went to the bench. The 7-foot-1 junior scored 14 points on 5-of-11 shooting from the field, including a career-best two three-pointers. Sykes finished with 13 points with three assists and three steals.
Green Bay, in the midst of seven of eight games away from home, plays at Tennessee Tech on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. After a trip to Wisconsin on Dec. 12, the Phoenix plays the first of four in a row at home on Dec. 15 against Southern Illinois.
Read a full season preview of the men's basketball team and watch a 1-on-1 interview with Wardle.
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