The second round of the Horizon League Tournament finished up play on Sunday afternoon. As in the first round, the top seeds held serve and advanced to the semifinals. Here are some quick recaps of Sunday's action:
Game 1: (4) Green Bay 70 - (5) Milwaukee 61
An uncharacteristically cold shooting day for Milwaukee doomed the Panthers to a season ending loss. The Panthers only mustered 7 threes on 31 attempts, a 22.5% clip. No one embodied the Panthers shooting struggles more than Matt Tiby, who ended the day just 2 of 11 from the floor including 1 of 6 from three. Green Bay was able to take advantage of the Panthers struggles by finishing the game on a 24-9 run over the game's final seven and a half minutes. The Phoenix turned a six-point deficit into a nine-point victory behind the efforts of seniors Carrington Love and Jordan Fouse. Love had 16 points on the day while Fouse added 15 more, including three momentum swinging three-pointers. Jordan Johnson led the Panthers in scoring with 18 total points on the strength of an 11 for 11 effort from the free throw line.
The rivalry game win propels the Phoenix into a conference semifinal meeting with top-seeded Valparaiso on Monday night at 7 PM Eastern. Valparaiso swept the season series with Green Bay. In the final regular season game for both teams, Valparaiso needed a three-pointer with just two seconds left to pull out the two-point victory. The Phoenix are clearly playing some of their best basketball at the right time. They have also gained some positive momentum with wins the last two days. A key for the semifinal matchup will likely be how Valparaiso opens up the game. The Crusaders haven't played for over a week while the Phoenix are on a roll. A slow start will allow Green Bay to stay in the game and build confidence.
Game 2: (3) Wright State 82 - (6) Detroit 72
For the second consecutive day, Wright State's defense carried the Raiders to victory. The Raiders held Detroit without a single three-point field goal for the game and forced 17 turnovers. Wright State was able to hold the Titans 12 points below their season scoring average. The Raiders also scored 14 points above their own season average behind a balanced scoring attack. JT Yoho led all Raiders scorers with 20 points. Paris Bass once again did not start for Detroit, playing just 26 minutes. Bass made the most of those minutes though, recording a double-double with 24 points and 13 rebounds. The margin of victory likely would have been much higher for Wright State had Bass not put forth his effort to keep his team in the game.
Wright State's victory sets them up to meet second-seeded Oakland in the other semifinal on Monday night, taking place at approximately 9:30 PM Eastern. Oakland dominated both regular season meetings between the two teams, winning by 26 in the first meeting and 16 in the second. Wright State's defense has struggled to slow down the Oakland offensive attack this year. However, the Raiders have looked like the best team in the tournament throughout the first two rounds. In a tournament setting, anything could happen.