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Keifer Sykes ties career high, leads Phoenix to win over Panthers

Kiefer Sykes tied his career high with 34 points, including 22 in the first half. Green Bay took advantage of the big first half and won by 16.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It is fair to say Green Bay (13-3, 2-0) hasn't forgot about what happened last year in the Horizon League conference semifinals when they were upset at home to Milwaukee (5-12,0-3), who eventually went on to win the conference tournament and advanced to the big dance.

A in-state rival that recently has been a down to the wire type of battle including 12 of the last 17 games within 7 points, and 2 of the last 3 going into overtime was the exact opposite of that tonight. The Phoenix jumped out to a twenty point halftime lead (47-27) and never looked back.

The man behind the huge halftime lead was none other reigning Horizon League player of the year Keifer Sykes. Sykes (17.9 ppg) had 22 points, and shot a ridiculous 8-11 from the field including 4-5 from behind the arc just in the first half! Keifer stayed hot in the second half, tying his career high of 34 points.

Along with one of the conference's best player, this match-up included a pair of former high school teammates playing against each other, Jordan Fouse (7.9 ppg) and Steve McWhorter (14.1 ppg) both attended Racine St. Catherine, where they won a class 3 state championship together.

McWhorter won the individual battle against his past high school teammate also tying his career high with 21 points. Fouse finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

The Panthers were able to get the 23 point deficit down to 11 points in the second half, but could not cut into the lead any deeper.

Green Bay finished the game shooting 56 percent compared to Milwaukee's 43 percent which led to the 79-63 win for the Phoenix.

Green Bay's next game is Sunday when they host Youngstown State. This game will be played at 8:00 ET. which is different than the original scheduled afternoon. The game was changed to the evening because of the Packers home playoff game. Milwaukee's next game is also against Youngstown State, next Wednesday.