Hopes for their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 18 years took a huge hit for the Green Bay Phoenix Mens basketball team as they lost to rival Milwaukee 73-66 in overtime at the Horizon League tournament semifinals before over 7000 fans at the Resch Center Saturday night. The Phoenix were ice cold to start and got wounded as the game went along. Conference player of the year Kiefer Sykes injured a knee in a practice Friday and rolled his ankle several times during the contest. Clearly limited, Sykes still played 37 minutes and scored 15 points. Center Alec Brown injured his shoulder about 10 minutes into the game and it affected his shooting, hitting just 3 of 14 shots. Green Bay made only 6 of 27 in the first half and trailed 28-19 at intermission. Junior Greg Mays scored 17 and helped fuel a rally that pushed Green Bay into the lead at 60-56 with just over two minutes to play. Milwaukee senior Jordan Aaron hit a couple of free throws and a game tying shot with :13 to play. A last second attempt by Mays missed and the Panthers outscored the Phoenix 11-4 in the extra period. Aaron finishing with a game high 28 points. The Panthers (20-13) advance to the Horizon League championship game to face Wright State, a 68-63 winner over Cleveland State. That game will be played Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio. As for the Phoenix, a regular season title and 24-6 record may not be good enough to earn an at large bid to the big dance. Green Bay will likely have to settle for the NIT tournament.
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