Home » Sports » Second-half run by Wright State sinks Green Bay, despite career night from McGee

Second-half run by Wright State sinks Green Bay, despite career night from McGee

By Murray Gleffe

GREEN BAY – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay men’s basketball team surrendered a 22-3 run to start the second half en route to a 79-62 Horizon League loss Feb. 9 to Wright State at the Resch Center.

Kamari McGee scored a career-high 24 points to lead the Phoenix (4-19 overall, 3-11 Horizon), while Nate Jenkins added 12.

Green Bay has now dropped six consecutive games.

“We battled and played well in the first half,” Green Bay Head Coach Will Ryan said. “It’s been the story of our season where we hang around and then run out of gas and make mental mistakes in the second half. (Wright State) got easy looks, and that’s where they caused the separation.”

The Raiders (15-10, 12-4) were led by its two-headed monster of Tanner Holden and Grant Basile who combined for 40 points.

Wright State torched the nets, making 31-of-56 field goals, including hitting 65% of its second-half shots.

Green Bay gave up 44 points in the paint and committed 15 turnovers.

The Raiders scored the first eight points of the game, forcing Ryan to burn a timeout three minutes in.

The Phoenix settled into their rhythm behind the shooting of McGee and Ryan Claflin, who received his second straight start.

“Before he was in health and safety protocol, Ryan (Claflin) was struggling to find the bottom of the net,” Ryan said. “He hit two 3-pointers against Purdue Fort Wayne, and it carried over. Maybe I should have started him all along. His confidence is growing. He is versatile but has to get stronger.”

Green Bay cut the margin to 18-16 after Nate Jenkins nailed a 3-pointer.

The Phoenix took their only lead of the night, 28-26, when Cem Kirciman took a beautiful give-and-go and put in the layup with less than five minutes remaining in the first half.

Wright State took a 38-34 lead into intermission.

With 17 minutes left in the game, Green Bay’s Manny Ansong was whistled for an offensive foul and was sent to the bench with three fouls.

Despite scoring on their next possession to cut the lead to 41-39, the Phoenix never regained their momentum, as Wright State took command, inside and out.

Over the next nine minutes, the Raiders scored 22 of the next 25 points, with Holden and Basile nailing shot after shot for a 63-42 lead.

“You look down at their bench, and there are grown men playing for Wright State,” Ryan said. “The weight room will eventually pay dividends for us. You try and not get discouraged.”

Green Bay got no closer than 15 points the rest of the way.

With about a minute remaining, McGee connected on a jumper for his 23rd and 24th points of the night, giving the freshman his best output of the season.

“I think it was the shoes,” Ryan said about McGee’s performance. “When we lost at their place, both Manny (Ansong) and their guard blew out their shoes. Adidas sent us some purple replacement shoes. My rule is you wear team colors, but he’s down to one pair, so I agreed to let him play in those Viking color shoes. They aren’t easy on the eyes, but he played well in them.”

The Phoenix are back in action Thursday, Feb. 11, when they host Northern Kentucky at the Kress Events Center.

Facebook Comments
Scroll to Top