By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Senior Vince Garrett (Chicago, Ill.) made 6-of-7 shots and shined in his Phoenix debut, scoring 11 of his team-high 15 points after halftime to lead Green Bay (1-0) to a 71-49 victory over visiting Northern Michigan in the men’s basketball season opener on Saturday afternoon. The contest was the second all-time regular season game that the Phoenix played at the Kress Events Center.
After a NMU three-pointer, Green Bay held a 38-33 lead with 17:22 to play, but the Phoenix showed off its depth as seven different players scored during a 17-0 run which made it 55-33 with 9:51 to play. Garrett scored four points during the run, highlighted by an incredible putback dunk in traffic to make it 44-33 at the 16:08 mark.
With the run halted by a pair of Wildcats free throws, the two teams traded baskets before Garrett drained two threes in less than a minute to give Green Bay a 26-point lead (65-39) with 7:03 remaining.
Green Bay’s stifling defense after halftime held the Wildcats to just 7-of-32 shooting from the field. For the game, the Phoenix shot 43.9 percent (25-57) and NMU was held to 30.5 percent (18-59).
Getting a jumper from senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and three points from junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.), Green Bay jumped out to a quick 7-2 lead. The All-League duo struggled from the field, shooting a combined just 9-of-26 and 0-for-7 from long range, but both Brown and Sykes finished in double figures with 10 points each. Brown added eight rebounds and two blocks while Sykes grabbed four rebounds and tallied three assists.
Northern Michigan led 15-9 midway through the first half, but Green Bay responded with an 11-2 run to take the lead for good at 20-17. Three-pointers from Lamin Fulton (Philadelphia, Pa.) and Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) and a breakaway dunk from Sykes helped the hosts to a 34-27 lead at the break.
Love led the Green Bay bench and was the fourth Phoenix player to reach double figures with 10 points. Freshman Kenneth Lowe (Little Chute, Wis.) totaled five points and nine rebounds as all 11 active players saw the floor and scored.
Green Bay found itself in an early 11-4 hole in the rebounding battle, but the Horizon League leaders in rebound margin a season ago responded to claim a 45-39 edge on the glass. Sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.), who led the conference at 7.9 boards per game as a freshman, grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds.
Fouse and junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) each recorded three of Green Bay’s nine blocked shots. The nine blocks tie for the fifth-most in a single game in program history.
Green Bay will return to the Resch Center next Saturday, welcoming No. 20/21 Wisconsin at 7 p.m. The game will be played in front of a sellout crowd and will also be televised live by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.
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.
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