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Green Bay Defeats Oakland 83-69

Green Bay and Oakland wanted to recreate Super Bowl II but the Horizon League doesn't sponsor football. Instead, these two teams played a game of basketball.

Carrington Love set a new career high in the win.
Carrington Love set a new career high in the win.
Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Phoenix played their first game at home since January 4th. With ten straight wins under their belt, and the home crowd behind them, Green Bay was the heavy favorite.

While Green Bay was dominant in the first half, the Phoenix allowed Oakland to hang around. It was a half of runs. Neither team seemed willing to step on the other's toes by trading buckets. The Phoenix would score a few points to stretch the lead and then allow the Golden Grizzlies to step into the spotlight. During which time Oakland would score a few points to cut the lead and make things interesting.

That happened all half. But because Green Bay made both the first and last run, Oakland took a seven point deficit into the locker room.

It took quite a while for the Grizzlies to get into form on offense. They average over 73 points per game but managed just thirty in the first half. Less than a point per minute was scored over the first eight. Then Corey Petros went on his own personal run, scoring three consecutive buckets in less than one minute to pull his team within three. He finished the game with a team high 19 points and nine rebounds.

Since the Phoenix made the last run of the first half, the Grizzlies made the first run of the second half. The only difference was they didn't want to step out of the spotlight.

With 14:06 remaining, the Grizzlies committed a backcourt violation that went uncalled. Oakland maintained possession and drew a foul on Keifer Sykes. Kahlil Felder connected on both freethrows and cut the lead to six.

That no-call sparked a sequence of events in which the Phoenix would stay true to their name's mythological origin. They died for a minute, having been burned by the referees.

Brian Wardle spent over 30 seconds of game time letting the officials know he was not pleased with their performance. Understandably this did not please the officials, so they issued a technical foul to Wardle. With 13:34 left, Oakland pulled within four.

A couple of possessions later, Duke Mondy hit an equalizing jumper, 49 all. Then a Mitch Baenziger three pointer gave Oakland their first lead since having a 2-1 lead in the first minute.

Green Bay completed the mythological cycle of the Phoenix by rising from the ashes on the defensive end. Oakland had all the momentum, as well as the lead, until Green Bay's defense played a full, 35 second possession. Shot clock violation Oakland; the momentum shifts once again.

Missed opportunities kept the Grizzlies from fully taking over. They committed three shot clock violations.

Green Bay came storming back behind Keifer Sykes. Of his game high 27 points, 20 came in the second half and of those, 18 came over the final ten minutes.

Making things worse, Travis Bader (Oakland's leading scorer at 19.7ppg) picked up his fourth foul with over seven minutes to play. He would foul out with 4:11 remaining.

From there it was a close but unwavering two possession lead for Green Bay until the late game foul fest pushed the Phoenix lead into double-figures.

During the foul fest, Carrington Love set a new career high. He was fouled in the act of shooting with 1:24 left to play. The foul spun him around and, while unable to see the hoop, he threw up a shot over his head. That wild shot gave him 16 points. He would hit the free throw to finish with 17 points, two above his previous best.

Green Bay is now 16-3 (6-0) with a two game advantage over second place Wright State. Oakland falls to seventh place with a 7-14 (2-4) record.