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Poor shooting, turnovers plague Green Bay in loss

By Murray Gleffe

GREEN BAY – Two days after getting a win, the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball team committed 14 turnovers and shot 37% from the floor in an 80-63 Horizon League loss against UIC (University of Illinois Chicago) Jan. 15 at the Resch Center.

“The turnovers are frustrating,” Green Bay Head Coach Will Ryan said. “We work on passing and catching in every practice. We’re going to continue to hammer that home.”

Kamari McGee led the Phoenix with 23 points, while Cade Meyer added 15 points and nine rebounds.

The Flames (7-8 overall, 3-3 Horizon) were paced by Damaria Franklin’s 19 points.

UIC jumped out to a 15-5 lead behind the blistering shooting of Franklin and Jace Carter.

Meanwhile, Green Bay made careless passes, resulting in untimely turnovers, falling behind by double digits.

The Phoenix trimmed the Flames’ lead to 26-17 after McGee hit an acrobatic shot in the lane off the glass.

“Kamari (McGee) scored well in spurts,” Ryan said. “He’s good at getting in the paint. The next step in his progression is (when teams are collapsing on him) to find the open man. Once he does that, he’s going to be a tough guard to handle.”

UIC continued its stranglehold on the lead, taking a 36-25 cushion into halftime.

A minute into the second half, Meyer was whistled for an offensive foul, and Ryan picked up a technical foul after the play.

“I said, ‘Keep cutting hard and eventually you’ll get the fouls,’” Ryan said about the technical.

The Flames took a 48-30 lead after Carter tickled the twine with a triple.

Green Bay (3-13, 2-5) got within 53-41 after Donovan Ivory hit a couple of free throws, and the Phoenix got a few stops with zone looks.

“I’m a man-to-man guy through-and-through,” Ryan said. “Maybe we keep it (the zone) in our back pocket for situational purposes to try and throw teams off. We’ll see how the upcoming week goes with getting guys back.”

During back-to-back games for Green Bay, only seven players saw minutes because the rest of the team was injured or dealing with COVID-19 protocols.

Empty trips on the offensive end and a lack of bench doomed the Phoenix, as UIC built a 63-41 lead (10-0 spurt) with about nine minutes remaining.

“I’m sure the guys would tell you they are fine,” Ryan said about playing only seven players. “A few of them were fatigued and didn’t have enough juice to go. It would have been nice to have a few extra guys to throw out on the floor. Signs are looking good we will have Manny (Ansong) and Nate (Jenkins) back next week.”

Green Bay is back in action Jan. 20 when it hosts the University of Detroit Mercy.

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