Muhammad Shoots the Phoenix Past the Prairie Stars
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Junior Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) made his first five three-point attempts and scored a career-high 21 points on Sunday afternoon, sparking Green Bay (6-7) to an 84-43 victory over Illinois Springfield in the final tune-up for the Phoenix before Horizon League play begins on Thursday. Green Bay has held its opponents to just 48.3 points per game and a 32.8 percent shooting percentage during its current three-straight winning streak.
Muhammad, who tallied 17 points in the opening half, scored his first five points during a 20-0 run to turn an 8-5 lead into a 28-5 advantage with 8:40 to play in the first half. Muhammad added four more three-pointers in the period as the Phoenix lead grew to 51-17 at the break.
The junior college transfer from South Suburban College finished his best game in a Phoenix uniform with 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 5-of-6 from long range. His performance helped Green Bay shoot a season-high 59.3 percent (32-54) from the field and 57.1 percent from long range (8-14).
Green Bay went 18-of-26 from the field in the opening half and had assists on 16 of its 18 made field goals. Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.), celebrating his 19th birthday, had nine points and six assists in the first half. Sykes finished 5-of-6 from the field and 4-of-4 from the line for 15 points, six assists, five rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes.
UIS missed 12 consecutive shots during Green Bay's 20-0 run and shot only 6-of-30 from the field in the first half. The Prairie Stars shot 15-of-58 for the game (25.9 percent), a low for a Phoenix opponent in the history of the Resch Center and a low for any opponent since Idaho shot 22.6 percent on Nov. 17, 2000.
Green Bay cooled slightly after halftime but extended its lead to 44 points on two occasions, including on Muhammad's last bucket in the lane to become the third Phoenix player to tally 20 or more points in a game this season.
Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) was efficient for the second game in a row, making 7-of-10 shots en route to 17 points while adding eight rebounds and four assists. Junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) and sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) added eight points each while a quartet of Phoenix players scored four apiece as every player in uniform scored.
Junior Daniel Turner (McCordsville, Ind.) returned to the floor after missing the previous seven games with an injury and tallied four points.
In addition to Sykes, freshman Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) dished out a career-high six assists as the Phoenix finished with a season-high 24 helpers. Fellow freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) notched a career-high 11 rebounds as Green Bay held a 38-30 edge on the glass.
Green Bay opens Horizon League play on Thursday at Wright State at 6 p.m. The contest in Dayton will be televised live on Time Warner Cable Sports32.
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