Stars Shine as Green Bay Cruises Past South Dakota, 72-55
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Preseason All-Horizon League selections Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) combined for 36 points on 14-of-18 shooting Saturday night and Green Bay (5-7) used a 23-7 run which spanned two halves to build a comfortable lead as the Phoenix cruised to a 72-55 win over visiting South Dakota (5-8) in non-conference men's basketball action at the Resch Center.
Brown shot 8-of-10 from the field, connecting on both of his three-point attempts, and finished the game with 19 points and eight rebounds to lead all players. The 7-foot-1 junior became the 14th player in program history to grab at least 500 career rebounds.
Sykes added 17 points on an efficient 6-of-8 shooting and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line. The sophomore point guard, playing his 29th and final game as an 18-year old, added eight assists and four rebounds to his 26th double-digit effort during that stretch.
The Phoenix, coming off a 49-47 upset victory over Marquette on Wednesday, avoided a letdown early. Brown started hot, scoring the first seven points for Green Bay as the hosts build a 7-2 lead in the first four minutes.
South Dakota, coming off a nice win of its own Wednesday against Morehead State, responded well and led 17-14 at the 10:10 mark.
Green Bay used a 12-2 run capped by Brown's second three-pointer to reclaim the lead and build its advantage to 26-19 with 4:33 to play before the half. After the Coyotes closed to 29-25, freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) sparked a 6-0 run to end the half as Green Bay led 35-25 at the intermission.
The run extended into the second half as the Phoenix increased its advantage to 52-32 with 12:09 remaining. Fouse, Sykes and sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) each scored five points during the 23-7 spurt that helped Green Bay cruise to its fourth home win of the season.
The Phoenix shot a season-high 55.3 percent from the field (26-47), including over 60 percent in the second half (14-23). The shooting percentage was the highest for Green Bay since Dec. 31, 2011 at Valparaiso.
Led by Sykes' season-high eight helpers, Green Bay had 18 assists on the night.
In support of Brown and Sykes, junior Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) scored 10 points off the Phoenix bench while Mays and Fouse had nine and seven, respectively. Mays added seven rebounds in his third-straight start as Green Bay held a 32-26 edge on the glass. Junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) knocked down a pair of three-pointers for six points.
The Phoenix will conclude its four-game homestand on Sunday, Dec. 30, hosting Illinois-Springfield at 6 p.m. Horizon League play opens up on Jan. 3 when Green Bay visits Wright state in a 6 p.m. game televised live by Time Warner Cable's Sports32.
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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