Late Rally Comes Up Short as UIC Eliminates Green Bay in Detroit
DETROIT, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The third-seeded Green Bay men’s basketball team took the floor against No. 6 UIC at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Mich., on Sunday evening, falling just short of completing a comeback after finding itself down 17 points with 3:53 to play. The Flames managed to hang on and pull out a 79-70 victory to advance to the 2017 Little Caesars’ Horizon League Championship Semifinals on Monday night.
Green Bay (18-13) struggled from the field in the first half, heading to the locker room shooting only 15-of-43 (34.9%) from the field, with the only upside being that it trailed by only a single point after the defense held UIC (15-17) to 36.1% from the floor.
After an evenly matched opening half, the game started to really get going at the 13:04 mark with UIC leading 51-50. The Flames pieced together a 19-2 run, 15 points of which were unanswered, to put the Phoenix at a 70-53 disadvantage with only 3:53 remaining.
Working against the clock, Green Bay stepped up the intensity on both ends of the court and scored seven-straight points in a little over a minute’s time to lower the deficit to 10 points, 70-60, with 2:35 remaining.
Jamar Hurdle hit two clutch three-pointers in 42 seconds for six of his 11 points in the game, bringing the Phoenix within single digits for the first time in over seven minutes. The rally continued with another seven unanswered points for the Phoenix off a jumper and two free throws from Charles Cooper and another Hurdle triple, bringing the Phoenix within two points with1:08 left on the clock.
Green Bay was unable to completely pull even with UIC, and the Flames didn’t falter at the line as the Phoenix fell 79-70 to end its hopes of making back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances.
Kanter finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds to notch his ninth double-double of the season. The junior went 8-for-18 from the field, doled out one assist, blocked one shot and collected a steal in 30 minutes.
Kenneth Lowe scored eight points and grabbed eight boards in 28 minutes. The forward finished 4-of-8 on the evening and blocked three shots.
Green Bay finished the game 28-84 (33.3%), while UIC was 25-60 (41.7%). Both squads finished with 49 rebounds on the evening.
The Phoenix will now potentially await an invitation to another postseason tournament, including NIT, CBI or CIT.
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