By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Green Bay (20-5, 10-2 HL) set the tone from the opening offensive and defensive possessions on Thursday night, with junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) scoring in the paint for a 2-0 lead and senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) blocking the first shot attempt by Youngstown State (13-13, 4-7 HL).
Brown went on to score a game-high 24 points and block three shots for visiting Green Bay, which held a 38-18 edge in the paint and broke the Horizon League single-season blocks record during a 71-40 rout of the Penguins. The Phoenix has blocked 185 shots in 2013-14, breaking the league record of 182 set by YSU in 2012-13.
Green Bay maintained a one-game lead in the Horizon League standings heading into Saturday’s contest with second-place Cleveland State, which posted a 73-53 home win over UIC on Thursday night. The game will be televised live by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel and available on ESPN3.
Led by 11 points from Brown, Green Bay opened up a double-digit lead in midway through the first half and took a 39-23 lead into the locker room thanks to a late jumper from junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.).
Brown scored the first four points of the second half to increase the lead to 20, but the Penguins scored the next eight to close to 43-31 with 16:40 to play.
For the rest of the game, Green Bay outscored Youngstown State 27-9, holding the highest scoring offense (78.6) in the Horizon League to just 2-of-16 from the field. Prior to Thursday, YSU’s lowest offensive output of the season was 67 points. It was also the lowest total allowed by the Phoenix in a Horizon League game since a 58-40 win at Wright State on Feb. 18, 1999.
Youngstown State made just 15-of-47 shots from the field and only 3-of-16 from long range. Green Bay held Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kendrick Perry to just 10 points on 3-of-9 shooting from the field.
Brown finished with 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting from the field and added four rebounds and three blocked shots. With 768 rebounds in his career, Brown became the program’s all-time leader at the Division I level.
Sykes added 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists while committing just one turnover. Nine different Phoenix players scored on Thursday, including Alfonzo McKinnie (Chicago, Ill.) knocking down a jumper for his first points at Green Bay.
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