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Green Bay Loses Nail Biter to Southern Illinois

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Release: December 15, 2012
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Sophomore Keifer Sykes scored a game-high 22 points on Saturday night.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) kept rolling with a game-high 22 points on Saturday night, but visiting Southern Illinois (5-2) scored four points late and made an uncharacteristically high percentage from the foul line to deal short-handed Green Bay (3-7) a 72-70 loss, its first home non-conference setback since Dec. 8, 2010. The Phoenix suited up just eight players for the contest.

In what started as a back-and-forth affair, Green Bay led by as many as eight points in the opening half thanks to Sykes and a balanced offense which got points from seven different players. The opening 20 minutes featured 22 fouls and 35 free throws, and the Phoenix connected on 19-of-22 from the line to lead 41-37 at intermission.

The second 20 minutes included seven ties and seven lead changes, with Green Bay holding a six-point advantage on five different occasions. Midway through the half, the teams traded three-pointers on five out or six possessions. After SIU's T.J. Lindsay made the last in the stretch, Sykes scored on an old-fashioned three-point play. After Lindsay scored on a layup, Sykes answered again with a layup to make it 62-56 with 7:59 to play.

Including four free throws, the Salukis would score the next eight points to grab a two-point edge at the 4:10 mark  before Sykes converted another three-point play to give Green Bay a 65-64 lead with the clock at 4:00. SIU entered the game shooting just 63.4 percent from the line but connected on 16-of-19 free throws (84.2%).

With the game tied at 66, Desmar Jackson put SIU ahead before sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.), making his first career start, made a pair of free throws for the game's 11th tie (68-68). Mays made all three of his field goals and had eight points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.

Southern Illinois' Josh Swan made a ridiculous layup on the next possession over the outstretched arms of junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.), and after a turnover by junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.), SIU went ahead by four with 1:04 to play.

Sykes was fouled on the ensuing possession and knocked down both free throws, and a steal gave Green Bay the ball with 4.5 seconds to play. The Phoenix got the ball into Sykes, but his runner in the lane would not fall.

Despite the final play and outcome, it was yet another home terrific performance for Sykes, who upped his average to 16.4 points per game this season and 24.7 points per game at home. The Chicago native made 5-of-13 shots from the field but converted 11-of-13 free throws and added a season-high five assists.

Cerroni made a trio of three-pointers and hit all five of his free throws to finish with 14 points off the bench while Brown added 10 points and seven rebounds. Cerroni is now 21-of-21 from the free throw line in 2012-13 and has made 36 in a row dating back to last season. As a team, Green Bay finished 26-of-31 from the stripe for 83.9 percent.

The Phoenix continues its four-game homestand on Wednesday, hosting Marquette in Green Bay for the first time at 7 p.m. To purchase tickets for the game, call 920.465.2625 or visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center between 8-4:30 on Monday and Tuesday or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.


For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.

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Schedule Sponsor
Saturday , November 01
Women's Basketball 
vs. Michigan Tech (Exhibition)
1:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Thursday , November 06
Women's Basketball 
vs. UW-Oshkosh (Exhibition)
7:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Saturday , November 15
Women's Basketball 
at Marquette
1:00 PM
Milwaukee, Wis.
Monday , November 17
Women's Basketball 
at Vanderbilt
7:00 PM
Nashville, Tenn.
Wednesday, November 19
Women's Basketball 
at Purdue
4:30 PM
West Lafayette, Ind.
Saturday , November 22
Women's Basketball 
vs. Duquesne
1:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Friday , November 28
Women's Basketball 
at Georgia Tech
11:00 AM
Naples, Fla.
Saturday , November 29
Women's Basketball 
at Arizona State or Villanova
Naples, Fla.
Sunday , November 30
Women's Basketball 
at TBD
Naples, Fla.
Saturday , December 06
Women's Basketball 
vs. Western Michigan
1:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Wednesday, December 10
Women's Basketball 
at South Dakota State
7:00 PM
Brookings, S.D.
Saturday , December 13
Women's Basketball 
vs. Wisconsin
7:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Saturday , December 20
Women's Basketball 
vs. Vermont
1:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.
Sunday , December 28
Women's Basketball 
at Dayton
1:00 PM
Dayton, Ohio
Saturday , January 03
Women's Basketball 
vs. Davenport
1:00 PM
Green Bay, Wis.



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