No. 20/19 Wisconsin Rallies to Spoil Sykes' Career Night, Record Crowd
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) scored 16 points in both halves en route to a career-high 32 in front of a program-record 9,906 fans at the Resch Center, but No. 20/19 Wisconsin (3-0) rallied past Green Bay (1-1) for a 69-66 victory in non-conference men’s basketball action on Saturday night.
Building on his impressive resume in big games, Sykes finished with 32 points on 13-of-26 shooting from the field and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Sykes scored the first eight Phoenix points of the night on a high-flying dunk on the game’s first possession and a pair of three-pointers. Green Bay led 25-23 with 7:45 left before halftime, but Wisconsin scored the next nine points to claim its largest lead of the night (32-25). Using a pair of layups from Sykes, Green Bay closed the deficit to 34-29 at the break.
Sparking a 10-1 run coming out of the break, Sykes scored eight points to put the Phoenix in front 39-35 just three minutes into the second half.
Green Bay’s lead increased to seven points (50-43) when junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) converted a three-point play with 11:30 remaining. Mays finished the contest with nine points, six rebounds and a blocked shot.
Wisconsin, who entered the game after wins over St. John’s and No. 11 Florida, went on a 17-4 over the next six minutes to lead 60-54 with 6:03 on the clock. The Badgers still led 65-60 before Sykes drilled a jumper and made a floater in the lane to cut the margin to one (65-64) with 1:27 remaining.
After a pair of Wisconsin free throws, sophomore Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) drove down the lane and scored to again make it a one-point game (67-66) with 12 seconds left.
Traevon Jackson was fouled and split a pair of free throws, but Sykes’ layup attempt was blocked by Frank Kaminsky with five seconds on the clock. Kaminsky connected on 1-of-2 free throws, giving Green Bay a chance to tie. Sykes caught the ball near midcourt, but his 25-footer bounced off the rim at the buzzer.
Green Bay was outrebounded by four in the first half, but led by sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) ended the night with a 40-35 advantage on the glass. Fouse reached double digits in rebounds for the second-straight game, grabbing a game-high 12 boards.
Fouse and freshman Kenneth Lowe (Little Chute, Wis.) each totaled three of Green Bay’s nine blocked shots. With senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) in foul trouble and limited to 18 minutes, Lowe played 21 minutes and ended the game with six points, four rebounds, three blocks and two assists. Senior Vince Garrett (Chicago, Ill.) added eight points and eight rebounds.
Kaminsky led the Badgers with 16 points while Sam Dekker added 13 and Josh Gasser ended the night with 11.
Green Bay returns to action next Saturday, hosting Minnesota-Duluth at the Resch Center at 7 p.m.
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