By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Posting a 67-53 victory over visiting Valparaiso (16-12, 8-5 HL) on Thursday night at the Resch Center, RV/-- Green Bay (22-5, 12-2 HL) clinched a share of the Horizon League regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the 2014 Horizon League Championship.
Green Bay secured its fourth regular season conference title in the Division I era (1991-92, 1993-94, 1995-96) and second since joining the Horizon League. The Phoenix ended a drought of 18 years, with its last regular season championship coming back since 1995-96.
Junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) scored a game-high 19 points and senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) added 14 points and eight blocked shots on his Senior Night to lead the Phoenix. Brown became the second player in conference history to reach 300 in his career, and with 301 is now nine blocks from breaking the conference record.
Green Bay jumped out to a 13-2 lead but Valparaiso rallied to lead four times in the second half. The Phoenix took a 30-27 lead into intermission, but the Crusaders’ Jubril Adekoya made a three-pointer on the first possession of the second half to tie the game at 30-30.
Brown broke the tie with a three-pointer on the next possession to start a 12-0 run, and the Phoenix would never trail again. Valparaiso, winners of the past two regular season titles, closed to 46-42, but Brown made a three, blocked two shots on the next Crusaders’ possession, and then made two free throws for a nine-point lead.
Sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) posted a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds and junior Alfonzo McKinnie (Chicago, Ill.) came off the bench to score nine points and block three shots.
Helped by 12 blocked shots, the Phoenix held Valparaiso to 36.2 percent shooting from the field. Green Bay outrebounded the Crusaders 37-33 and forced 14 turnovers.
For more schedule and ticketing information on the 2014 Horizon League Championship, please visit tournament central.
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