Slow Start Dooms Phoenix in Road Loss at EMU
YPSILANTI, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) totaled 19 points and 10 rebounds and junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) added 13 points, but visiting Green Bay (5-3) could not overcome a tough offensive first half and fell at Eastern Michigan (6-3) 67-58 at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Mich.
Green Bay jumped ahead to a 7-4 lead early after four points from junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) and a jumper from Sykes, but Eastern Michigan then used a 23-6 spurt over the next 12-plus minutes to lead 27-13 with 3:35 remaining in the first half. The Phoenix, which shot 28.6 percent (6-21) and had 12 turnovers in the half, trailed 29-18 at halftime.
Heading out of the break, Eastern Michigan’s lead would reach as many as 15 points (39-24) with 14:50 to play before Green Bay got hot from long range to close the deficit. Sykes knocked down a pair of three-pointers and senior Vincent Garrett (Chicago, Ill.) made another to cut the EMU lead to 41-35 with 9:18 on the clock.
Eastern Michigan scored the next six points to reclaim a 12-point advantage at the under-8 media timeout. Green Bay was unable to get the deficit to below six points the rest of the way.
Foul trouble forced Brown to sit on the bench for much of the second half. He had picked up his fourth foul by the 12:22 mark, including being whistled for three quick ones after halftime.
The 7-foot-1 senior returned to the floor at the under-eight media timeout and scored 10 points the rest of the way. He finished the game 5-of-11 from the field and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
Committing 28 fouls, Green Bay saw more players than just Brown get in foul trouble as seven players had three or more fouls in the game. Eastern Michigan took 15 more free throws (28-39) and scored 11 more points from the line than Green Bay (17-24). The Phoenix had entered the game among the nation’s leaders in fewest fouls per game.
Sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) had eight points, nine rebounds and a steal, but he saw his streak of 30-straight games with at least one block end. Fouse and Brown combined for 10 offensive rebounds as the Phoenix held a 37-29 edge on the glass.
The Phoenix will return to action on Saturday, playing at South Dakota at 7 p.m. CT.
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