Phoenix remain winless on year
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay men’s basketball team lost its sixth straight game after a 74-62 loss to UW-Milwaukee Dec. 20 at the Kress Events Center.
The Horizon League game was part of a back-to-back, two-game series with the Panthers.
The Phoenix lost their opener a day before, 68-65.
“We need to get back to basics,” said Will Ryan, Green Bay head coach. “It’ll be a good week for defensive principles, sharing the ball, cutting and screening. We have to continue to teach. We’re passionate about the game.”
Amari Davis led the Phoenix (0-6 overall, 0-2 Horizon) with 21 points and two assists, while PJ Pipes and Josh Jefferson added 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Green Bay shot 38.9% for the game and went 11-of-17 from the free-throw line.
Milwaukee (3-1, 2-0), which put four players in double figures, was paced by DeAndre Gholston’s 18 points.
As it has in previous games, the Phoenix got off to a slow start in trailing 6-0 a minute in, forcing Ryan to immediately call timeout.
Green Bay came out of the huddle and got a quick two from Terrance Thompson and a corner triple by Jefferson to ease back into the contest.
The Panthers continued to lead throughout much of the first half until Davis stole an errant pass, went coast-to-coast and slammed it home to tie the contest at 19-19.
Green Bay’s fortunes didn’t stop there, as it eventually took a 28-23 lead with 5:24 left until intermission.
“When the defense is creating some offense, things tend to click,” said Ryan. “Guys get amped up and bring some energy to the court. I loved the spurt we had, but I want to see it more. We can’t take quick shots, make careless mistakes and settle all the time. We’re going to hammer home with this group this week about those points.”
Before the halftime horn sounded, Gholston hit an off-balance runner to tie the game at 35-35 heading into intermission.
Paris Taylor put in a quick two to start the second half for the Phoenix, but it was their last lead of the game.
The Panthers hot shooting continued from the first half (51.72%), while Green Bay’s field-goal woes hit home.
When it was all said and done, Milwaukee took a 61-51 lead with about four minutes left.
It was part of a second half in which the Phoenix scored only one point during a seven-minute span.
“When they built the lead, Milwaukee got more excited,” Ryan said. “Young teams tend to get sidetracked when shots aren’t falling.”
Down the stretch, the Panthers extended the shot clock and nailed 18-of-23 free throws to ice the game.
Green Bay will next be in action Dec. 26-27 when it travels to Wright State.
Milwaukee: 35, 39 — 74
Green Bay: 35, 27 — 62
Panthers: Gholston 18, Thomas 15, Lucas 11, Allen 11, Newby 7, Simms 4, Coleman 3, Hancock 3, Wilbourn 2.
Phoenix: Davis 21, Pipes 13, Jefferson 12, Kellogg III 7, Taylor 4, Stieber 3, Thompson 2.