Defense Drives Green Bay's 12th-Straight Victory
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Brian Wardle has preached the team’s mantra of Compete, Defend and Rebound throughout his tenure as Green Bay’s head coach. Sunday’s afternoon contest provided a pretty strong statement on the effectiveness of that philosophy.
Green Bay (17-3, 7-0 HL) shot just 28.3 percent from the field (13-46) against visiting Detroit (9-13, 2-5 HL) at the Resch Center, but the Phoenix defense held the Titans without a field goal for the final 8:57 and created a 20-3 advantage in points off turnovers. The end result was a 62-52 victory which extended Green Bay’s winning streak to 12 games.
Making just 13-of-46 shots from the field, Green Bay posted the lowest field goal percentage in a victory in the program’s 45-year history. The Phoenix, which shot 34-of-41 from the charity stripe, was aided by making 20 more free throws than Detroit.
With five different players scoring between four and eight points, Green Bay jumped ahead to a 28-18 lead late in the first half, but the Titans used a 7-2 run to end the half and cut the deficit to 30-25 at the break.
Junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) had just six points at halftime, but scored half of his team’s 32 points in the second half to finish with a game-high 22 points. Sykes had a rare rough shooting night but made 11-of-12 free throws en route to his 13th 20-point game of the season. The 13 20-point games are the fourth-most in the program’s Division I history.
Detroit scored 13 of the first 15 points of the second half to lead 38-32 with 15:56 on the clock. The Titans still held the lead (50-47) when Carlton Brundidge scored on a layup at the 8:57 mark, but Sykes scored on a dunk, sophomore Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) converted a floater and senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) drained a three during a 7-0 run that gave the hosts the lead for good.From the 8:57 mark on, Green Bay’s defense held Detroit to just two points on 0-for-7 shooting from the field and five turnovers. The Titans only points during that stretch came on two free throws with 6:19 remaining. For the game, Detroit shot 31.5 percent from the field (17-54) and committed 16 turnovers. Titans’ leading scorer Juwan Howard, Jr., guarded mostly by sophomores Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) and Love, was held to only three points on 1-of-10 shooting.
Junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) recorded a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds for the Phoenix while Love added 10 points and three steals while going a perfect 6-of-6 from the line. Brown added seven points, six rebounds and three blocks and Fouse finished with six points, five rebounds, three blocks and two steals.
Green Bay will be back in action on Wednesday at Valparaiso at 7 p.m. before returning home to the Resch Center for a three-game homestand against Wright State (Feb. 1, 6 PM), UIC (Feb. 5, 7 PM) and Milwaukee (Feb. 8, 1 PM).
All tickets for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season are on sale now. For more information about season tickets, ticket packages and more, please visit the ticketing page at GreenBayPhoenix.com.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix, @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin.
Like Green Bay Phoenix Athletics on Facebook.