Defense, Rebounding Get Green Bay Third-Straight Road Win

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: February 17, 2013
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Sophomore Keifer Sykes scored 24 points on Sunday afternoon.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Green Bay (15-12, 9-5 HL) outrebounded Youngstown State (15-12, 7-7 HL) 39-24, held the Penguins to their lowest point total of the season and used a 15-3 second half run sparked by sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) to cruise to a 71-54 road win at the Beeghly Center. Sykes scored 19 second-half points for the second-straight game, finishing with 24 points to spark the Phoenix to a third-straight win.

With Sykes in foul trouble, juniors Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) picked up the slack. Brown scored 12 of his 16 points in the first half, and Muhammad scored six points during an 8-0 run to put Green Bay up 33-25 at the half.

Youngstown State jumped out quickly in the second half, scoring 11 of the first 13 points to turn the deficit into a 1-point lead (37-36) with 16:35 to play.

Sykes took over, finding Brown for a dunk and knocking down a triple to start a 15-3 run. After YSU scored, Sykes scored on a three-point play and by the 9:47 mark the score was 50-39.

The Penguins cut the deficit to 51-46, but Muhammad buried a three-pointer on the next possession and Green Bay used a 13-2 run to put the game away, leading by as many as 19 points. The Phoenix made 11-of-12 free throws in the final five minutes and finished the game 17-for-20.

Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) continued his sensational freshman season, posting a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds and added two assists, one block and three steals in 37 minutes.

Muhammad scored nine points with a pair of three-pointers, sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) and senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) added six points and six rebounds apiece.

In the end, Sykes stole the show again. The sophomore made 5-of-6 shots from the field and hit 8-of-9 free throws after halftime. In the team's two wins this weekend, Sykes scored 38 of his 47 points in the second half, making 12-of-23 shots from the field and 17-of-19 at the line.

Sitting in third place in the Horizon League, Green Bay will take a break from conference play this weekend, playing at Drake on Saturday night at 7 p.m. in a BracketBusters contest in Des Moines, Iowa.

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