By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) combined for 29 points for Green Bay (16-14, 10-6 HL) on Saturday afternoon, outshining Valpo's All-Horizon League duo, but lights out shooting from the Horizon League champion Crusaders (24-7, 13-3 HL) spoiled senior day at the Resch Center. Valpo got 21 points from Matt Kenney and 16 from Bobby Capobianco in a 75-56 in a win that snapped a four-game league winning streak for the Phoenix.
Green Bay tied for third place in the league standings but earned the No. 4 seed in the Horizon League Championship. The Phoenix will host No. 9 seed Milwaukee at the Resch Center on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. at the Resch Center.
Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) had seven points in the opening half, including a layup at the 4:32 mark to make it 19-18. With Brown on the bench with two fouls, the Crusaders scored 10 of the last 12 points of the half to take a 29-20 lead into the locker room.
The Phoenix shot 70 percent after halftime (14-20) with Brown and Sykes going a combined 7-of-9 from the field, but the Crusaders were even hotter. Valparaiso made 19-of-25 shots from the field in the half, with Kenney knocking down all five of his shots (4-4 threes) for 15 points.
Brown scored 12 of his 15 points after halftime and Sykes made all three of his second-half shots and finished with 14 points for the Phoenix.
Green Bay led the Horizon League in field goal percentage defense in conference play, but Valparaiso finished the game at 60.4 percent (29-48). The Phoenix held reigning Horizon League Player of the Year Ryan Broekhoff to just eight points on 3-of-8 shooting, but Kenney (7-7) and Capobianco (7-8) went 14-of-15.
Fouse finished with nine points, seven rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. The freshman finishes regular season play as the league's best rebounder overall and in conference play. In 30 regular season games for both players, Fouse grabbed 228 while Broekhoff collected 224. He also broke the program's freshman record for steals in a season with his two steals on Saturday and his block helped Green Bay break the team record for blocks in a season.
Led by Fouse and senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa), who had eight rebounds, Green Bay had a 25-23 edge on the glass and led the conference in rebounding margin for the season. The Phoenix outrebounded 14 of its 16 opponents in Horizon League play.
Green Bay will host Milwaukee at the Resch Center for the second-straight Tuesday night. The Phoenix swept the Panthers in the regular season, winning 74-54 in Milwaukee on Jan. 25 and 79-61 at the Resch Center on Feb. 26. Brown combined for 51 points and 16 rebounds in the two victories.
Tickets for Saturday afternoon's game are on sale 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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