Green Bay splits HL match-ups against IUPUI and UIC


It was a two week game for Will Ryan and the sputtering Green Bay Phoenix (3-13, 2-5 Horizon League). The Phoenix were shorthanded due to having five players in health and safety protocols (Ansong, Listau, Jenkins, Claflin, Majok).

On Thursday, Green Bay played host to IUPUI in a game that featured two of the lower rated teams in the NET rankings. The two programs had a combined one win over division one teams entering the Horizon League match-up.

Ultimately the shorthanded Phoenix would end their seven game losing streak with a 69-54 victory over the visiting Jaguars. It was a rare strong shooting performance for the Phoenix who knocked down 10 of 25 attempts from three-point range (40-percent). It was one of Green Bay’s better defensive performances of the season as well, holding IUPUI to just 37.3% from the field. Which would seem more impressive if IUPUI wasn’t ranked dead last in adjusted offensive efficiency (358th).

Despite having just seven players available, Green Bay’s offense was paced by Donovan Ivory who finished with 19 points in his first game back from injury. Randy Tucker would also finish with a career-high 17 points and 8 rebounds of his own. Last weeks Horizon League freshman of the week Kamari McGee added 12 points as well.

The Phoenix didn’t fair as well on Saturday when they lost to the visiting UIC Flames 80-63 at the Resch. UIC was led by a 19 point performance from Demaria Franklin, and 16 points from Kevin Johnson.

It was apparent that the short handed Phoenix were a bit fatigued in a game that was never really all that close.

One positive for Green Bay fans to takeaway from the loss to UIC, was that the 2021 class appears to be really impressive showing. Kamari McGee led Green Bay with a career-high 23 points, while playing all 40 minutes. Cade Meyer chipped in 15 points and 9 rebounds, both of which were career highs.

Both freshman are starting and averaging over 20 minutes a game for Will Ryan. It’s easy to forget just how young this Green Bay team is, but there is no shortage of young talent in the program. The losses right now hurt, but future certainly looks bright.

It’s another two-game week for Green Bay who returns to the court Thursday against Detroit Mercy at 7 p.m. They follow that up with a Saturday home game against first place Oakland at 6 p.m on ESPN+.

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