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Sykes, Green Bay men rise to the top

Allie Reinikainen, Sports Editor
February 6, 2013
Filed under Sports

The Green Bay men’s basketball team sits at a record of 12-11 this season, while sitting at 6-4 in Horizon League play.

The Phoenix started off winter break with a 49-47 non-conference victory over Marquette at the Resch Center Dec. 19. In a close battle the entire game  under the leadership of sophomore guard Keifer Sykes, who chipped in 20 points in the contest, Green Bay was able to use a free throw from Sykes to take the final lead of the game with less than five minutes to play. Sophomore forward Greg Mays also added 11 points in the contest.

Green Bay next took to the court against South Dakota at the Resch Center Dec. 23 for a 72-55 victory over the Coyotes. Junior center Alec Brown and Sykes combined for 36 points in the contest with 19 and 17 respectively. A 23-7 run in the second half kept Green Bay in the lead for the rest of the game.

In its final game of 2012, Green Bay played host to the Illinois-Springfield Prarie Stars Dec. 30 with an 83-43 victory. Junior guard Sultan Muhammad shot 5-of-6 from behind the arc to knock down a career-high 21 points in the game. Brown added 16 points, while Sykes added 15 to seal the victory for the Phoenix.

In its first contest in the Horizon League, Green Bay traveled to Wright State Jan. 3. Senior Brennan Cougill paced the Phoenix with 17 points, but Wright State proved to be too much. The Phoenix fell 53-64 to the Warriors. Sykes added 11 points in the contest, which was his 10th consecutive game with 10 or more points scored.

Green Bay took to the court in Detroit for its second Horizon League contest,  Jan. 5, but fell short to the Titans, 76-84. Sykes led all scorers with 21 points and was followed by sophomore forward Greg Mays with 18 points in the game. The 21 points for Sykes was the fifth time this season he has reached 20 or more points in a contest.

Green Bay hosted the Loyola Ramblers Jan. 9 and picked up its first Horizon League victory over the Ramblers, 58-45. Freshman Jordan Fouse stepped up his play, knocking down 13 points, 11 rebounds and seven steals in the game, leading the Phoenix to victory. The Phoenix held the Ramblers to just 31.6 percent shooting in the game.

Brown helped lead the Phoenix to its fifth-straight home victory in a 53-47 win over the University of Illinois-Chicago Flames Jan. 12. Brown had 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks in the contest, leading all scorers. Cougill was next in scoring with nine points. The win moved Green Bay’s record to 2-2 in Horizon League play.

The Phoenix improved its record to 9-9 on the season and 3-2 in the Horizon League with its 67-58 victory over the Youngstown State Penguins Jan. 17. Fouse led the Phoenix in scoring with 12 points, followed by  fellow freshman, Carrington Love and Cougill, each with 11. The win improved Green Bay’s home win streak to six.

In a 77-50 victory at the Resch Center Jan. 19, Green Bay closed out its homestand with a win over Cleveland State. Fouse, who led all scorers with 17, led Green Bay to the victory. Muhammad followed close with 15 points, and Sykes and Brown each answered with 14. Green Bay’s record improved to 10-9 for the season and 4-2 in Horizon League play.

The Phoenix ended the holiday break with a strong performance from Brown, who hit the 1,000-point mark against the Milwaukee Panthers Jan. 25 in the 74-54 victory. Brown scored 21 points in the contest, leading all scorers.  Sykes chipped in 16 points in the contest and is on track to become the next Phoenix player to reach the 1,000 point mark. The win over the Panthers put the Phoenix at 6-4 in the Horizon League.

Green Bay returns to action Feb. 7, hosting Wright State at the Resch Center at 7 p.m and then facing the Detroit Titans Feb. 9 at 1 p.m.