If you are a good team, you are going to have to find different ways to win ball games. Talk to Green Bay following Sunday afternoon's game against Detroit and they may tell you they got lucky.
They shot under 30 percent from the floor; they had 13 turnovers to just six assists; Alec Brown got hurt.
And yet the Phoenix walked out with a 62-52 win over the visiting Titans.
Every time that Green Bay tried to blow the game open though, Detroit sneaked back in and put a second half scare into the Phoenix, holding a four-point lead. But the Titans eventually fouled their way out of the game, sending Green Bay to the free throw line 41 times. The Phoenix would hit 34 of those chances, more than half their scoring.
Keifer Sykes led the way with 22 points, 11 from the stripe, to go along with eight rebounds in the win.
This shouldn't have been this hard though; Detroit entered the game as one of the bottom dwellers in the Horizon League. But the Titans 2-3 zone did an effective job of forcing the Phoenix away from the hoop and shooting from the outside on an afternoon when the rims were as cold as the weather outside.
Green Bay attempted to get to the hoop time and again, but found too many Detroit hands in the way.
The problem for Detroit was that they couldn't keep those hands from finding Green Bay players. They fouled when they didn't have to, and eventually Green Bay took advantage, seeming to find a foul at will to head back to the line.
Detroit attempted to adjust into a man scheme later in the game, but most of the damage had already been done.
Green Bay did a fantastic job finding a way to win while only making a total of 13 field goals. Against anyone else in the Horizon League this probably wouldn't have been enough to win. But they discovered the secret that unlocked the win, baiting the Titans into foul after foul.
The Phoenix will have to play better than they did Sunday, but they took advantage of a strong defensive showing from their own players, like Jordan Fouse, or Brown. They let Detroit bail them out on the offensive end, and shored up what they could.
Give credit to the Titans for pushing this one, despite an off day from Juwan Howard Jr. (1-for-10, 3 points, 3 assists). Evan Bruinsma was as effective as anyone could be against the Phoenix, but they just didn't have enough to take it.