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Green Bay says goodbye to six seniors, who helped the program get back to the NCAA Tournament.
Courtesy: Comm Squad

Green Bay's Season Comes to Close in First Round of CBI

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: March 15, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Hot shooting by UMKC in the second half handed the Green Bay men’s basketball team a tough 92-82 loss in the First Round of the CBI presented by FIVE FOUR on Wednesday night at the Swinney Recreation Center. Green Bay ends the season at 18-14 after making its seventh postseason appearance in the last nine years.

The Kangaroos (18-16) made their last seven field goals in the game and scored 52 second-half points, including 7-for-11 shooting from 3 in the final 20 minutes. LaVell Boyd scored 28 points and Kyle Steward scored 20, pushing UMKC into the Quarterfinals of the CBI.

The visiting Phoenix trailed by just two at 75-73 with 3:23 left in the game, before the Kangaroos made back-to-back 3s to go up by eight. Green Bay would never get closer than six points the rest of the way.

Kerem Kanter scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, shooting an efficient 8-for-9 from the field. Green Bay shot 47 percent (30-for-64) from the field, but went just 4-for-21 from 3-point range. UMKC finished 13-for-23 from 3 in the game.

In his final game in a Phoenix uniform, Charles Cooper scored 17 points and dished out five assists. Khalil Small added 12 points and five rebounds.

Green Bay trailed by just four at the break, 39-35, after both teams exchanged baskets throughout the first half. Kenneth Lowe threw down a dunk after a Khalil Small as the first half came to a close, but UMKC answered with a 3-pointer by Boyd with two seconds left on the clock.

The road defeat served as the final game for six Green Bay seniors, Cooper, Lowe, Turner Botz, Jamar Hurdle, Tevin Findlay and Warren Jones. Together, the group helped Green Bay capture its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years last season, and helped garner national attention to the program.

Green Bay will return multiple key players from this season in 2017-18, including All-Defensive Team member Small and the team’s leader in doubles-doubles and rebounding in Kanter. Freshmen Trevor Anderson and Kameron Hankerson will return for their sophomore seasons, after gaining quality experience as true freshman in the Horizon League.

View box score and play by play here.

Green Bay Postgame Quotes

CBI Tournament

March 15, 2017

Head Coach Linc Darner

OPENING STATEMENT: “We’re disappointed. We didn’t finish the season the way we were hoping to. But give a lot of credit to UMKC. I thought they came out and played well. They went 13-for-23 from the 3-point line and got to the free throw line 32 times against us, shot 50 percent, so they played well. They deserved that win and probably played better than us tonight.”

Q: What was the biggest difference from the first game?

DARNER: “The first game in the second half we played extremely well, and actually they were up by about 13 on us the first time, and then we really played well, we made shots. Going 4-for-21 on 3s tonight. We made shots against them. I can’t remember what we shot, but we made shots and I think they didn’t shoot the ball like they did tonight. I guess we kind of flip-flopped. First time I think we shot the ball a lot better than them, this time they shot the ball a lot better than us.”

Q: What were your overall thoughts on the season?

DARNER: “I mean, we didn’t finish it very well like we were hoping to. Got beat first round of the conference tournament and get beat first round here. But I think if you go back and look at it especially in our league play, we finished 12-6 and we had three games that came down to a one- or two-possession game that if we could’ve found a way to win those we could’ve very easily won the league. So, I think we had a good year. I don’t think you can take anything away from finishing third in our league and finishing 12-6. This year, I think to have great seasons like we had a year ago, we battled a lot of different injuries this year. Had a lot of different guys that were hurt, that were nursing injuries. We lost Trevor Anderson about 13 or 14 games ago and he was our starting point guard. So, when you have injuries and things like that sometimes you don’t have the year that you were hoping to have.

Junior Forward Kerem Kanter & Senior Guard Charles Cooper

Q: Just your overall thoughts on the season, I know you’re disappointed in how it ended but if you could reflect back on the season?

KANTER: “After winning the tournament last year and going to the NCAA Tournament we had high goals but sometimes it doesn’t go as planned. We shot 4-21 from three and that has been one of our weaknesses this year and it showed in the conference tournament and showed tonight. I’m just glad I have another season as a junior so just come back next year, work hard in the summer time.”

COOPER: “Picking up off what Kanter said, I think we had a good season overall. We let a few games slip away. I think at some points we didn’t show leadership, we had six seniors and I felt like that was a couple of seniors fault, they could’ve kept some of these games in our hands and won a few. But how tonight went is basically how a lot of games went this season. But like coach said, you can’t take away the games we did win and the games we won in conference and us coming in third place in conference. It didn’t end how we wanted it but that’s how it goes sometimes.”

Q: You guys started to pick away at that lead late in the second half can you take us through that a little bit?

DARNER: “We made a big run there and I think we got up five. I think our pressure bothered them a little bit. We got them to turn the ball over a few times. Then we had a couple possessions I think where we went 1-for-2 from the foul line and they came down and [Isaiah] Ross hit three 3s on us. You know that was a big swing. We went from being up four or five and we had a big turnover when we were up one maybe two there with about four and a half or five minutes to go where we bounced it off our player’s leg. There at the end we were just trying to get some steals and [Kyle] Steward hit two huge 3s. If he misses those, he shot two 3s right away we’re pressing, takes a lot of guts to step up and shoot those and probably easier to do here at home than on the road. But if he misses both of those then we’re probably off on the races getting layups at the other end.” 

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