The UW-Green Bay men were seconds away from the program’s first trip to the Horizon League title game in 15 years, but Valparaiso hit a pair of three-pointers in the final 10 seconds — including a desperation shot at the buzzer by star forward Ryan Broekhoff — that gave the top-seeded Crusaders a come-from-behind, 70-69 semifinal victory Saturday night in Valpariaso, Ind. The gutsy Phoenix was knocked out of the Horizon tournament despite playing one of its best games of the year and getting huge efforts from dynamic guard Keifer Sykes (31 points) and 7-foot center Alec Brown (15 points). Green Bay held a four-point lead after Sykes calmly sank two free throws with 13 seconds to play. Valpo countered immediately, hitting a long three with seven seconds left. They fouled immediately on the inbound, sending Brown to the line to make one of two, setting the stage for Broekhoff’s shot. The Phoenix died by the game-winning three just one night after winning at the buzzer with their own three-pointer, courtesy of guard Sultan Mohammad to beat UIC 64-63 in the quarterfinals. See a recap of Green Bay’s nice tournament run.
At 18-15, season might not be done yet
Press-Gazette beat writer Rob Demovsky reports that the Phoenix men left Valparaiso hoping their season is not over. “With 18 wins, the team has a chance to play in one of the lesser tournaments, either the College Basketball Invitational or the CollegeInsider.com tournament, the latter of which is for mid-majors only. ‘Hopefully we get in a postseason tournament and move on and keep playing,’ UWGB junior Alec Brown said.” Coach Brian Wardle said he planned to hold some practices this week before the NCAA, NIT, CBI and CI.com tourneys pick their fields.