Sykes, Mays Impress But Green Bay Falls Short at Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Sophomores Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) and Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) led a high-powered offense for Green Bay (6-9, 0-2 HL) on Saturday afternoon, but the Phoenix could not overcome turnovers and a 24-point advantage at the free-throw line for Detroit (10-5, 2-0 HL), losing 84-76 in Horizon League action at Calihan Hall.
Led by an 8-for-9 shooting effort from Mays, Green Bay shot 52.7 percent (29-55) for the game and held Detroit to just 37.5 percent (21-56), but the Titans attempted 23 more free throws and made 38-of-42 from the stripe. The Phoenix went 14-of-19 at the foul line on the night.
Mays finished the contest with a career-high 18 points, including five of Green Bay's seven dunks on the afternoon. The 6-foot-9 athletic sophomore also grabbed nine rebounds for the Phoenix as the visitors held a 35-28 advantage on the glass.
Fellow sophomore Sykes reached 20 points for the fifth time this season, scoring 21 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field. Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) posted his 50th career double-digit scoring effort, adding 16 points and seven rebounds. Junior Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) started and added 11 points and five rebounds.
Green Bay jumped out to an early 12-6 on the strength of four points each from Mays and Sykes, but the Titans responded by scoring the next nine points.
Detroit led 31-23 with 7:31 to play before the Phoenix scored the next six points. The Phoenix deficit would be stretched back out to nine late in the half, but junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) capped a 7-2 run to end the period and make it 42-37 at the break.
Green Bay shot 60 percent (15-25) and held a 26-16 edge in points in the paint in the opening half, but the Phoenix was doomed by 10 turnovers that afforded Detroit seven more shot attempts.
With two more dunks, Mays scored the first five points of the second half as Green Bay tied the score at 42 two and a half minutes into the second half. Detroit reclaimed its lead with a 9-2 run sparked by seven points from Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum.
Sykes scored five points during an 8-0 run that got the Phoenix within one at 53-52, and a layup from Brown at the 6:52 mark tied the score again, this time at 61.
The Titans again went on a run on the strength of free throws, making five during a 7-0 run that gave the hosts the lead for good.
A Mays three-point play and a Brown tip-in made it 68-66 with 3:39 to play, but Detroit made 12-of-13 from the charity stripe to seal its 17th consecutive home victory. McCallum went 13-of-15 at the free-throw line to finish with a game-high 26 points.
With seven dunks and all eight of Sykes' baskets coming in the lane, Green Bay finished the game with a 48-26 edge in points in the paint. The Titans committed just six turnovers and had a 19-2 advantage in points off turnovers.
After opening Horizon League play with a pair of road games, Green Bay returns home for four games in a row at the Resch Center. The homestand for the Phoenix begins on Wednesday when Loyola visits the Resch Center at 7 p.m.
Pick 5 packages and single-game tickets are on sale now with the Green Bay Athletics Ticket Office. For more information and to order tickets, please call 920.465.2625, visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.
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