Cold-Shooting Green Bay Falls in Horizon League Opener
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay (6-8, 0-1 HL) struggled offensively early in its Horizon League opener at Wright State (10-4, 1-0 HL) and could not recover, falling 64-53 at the Nutter Center. Senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) led the Phoenix with a game-high 17 points on 7-of-9 shooting.
The Phoenix shot just 7-of-24 in the first 20 minutes and finished the game shooting just 36.3 percent (17-47) from the field and 26.7 percent (4-15) from long range. The league's top free-throw shooting team went 15-of-19 at the charity stripe.
Despite Green Bay struggling without a field goal for the first seven-plus minutes, six free throws helped the Phoenix stay close and trail 9-8 at the 12:45 mark. The hosts would rattle off a 13-2 run over the next five minutes, getting three-pointers to start and end the run to push the lead to 22-10. The lead reached 14 points before Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) made a three-pointer at the halftime buzzer to make it 33-24.
On the strength of his first career three-pointer, Mays scored seven of his nine points in the first half. He finished the game 3-of-4 from the field while adding six rebounds and two blocked shots.
Wright State stole the momentum straight back with the first eight points of the second half and a 17-point lead. Cougill came off the bench and scored the next six points to spark a 10-4 run to get the Phoenix within 11 (45-34) with 10:03 remaining.
However, the Phoenix could not get the deficit under 10 until a three-pointer from junior Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) with 2:27 on the clock. Muhammad made a pair of triples and scored eight points off the Phoenix bench.
Cougill finished with 17 points in 19 minutes off the Phoenix bench and combined with Muhammad to give Green Bay a 25-17 edge in bench points. Cougill added six rebounds and two assists.
Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) was the lone starter in double figures for the Phoenix with 11 points, his 10th consecutive outing with 10 or more points. Sykes, who went 7-for-7 from the line, was just 2-of-7 from the field and did not make a field goal until the 6:07 mark of the second half.
Green Bay will look to bounce back on Saturday, visiting Detroit for the season's first Horizon League Game of the Week. Coverage for the game on Time Warner Cable's Sports32 will start at 1 p.m. CT.
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