GREEN BAY (GreenBayPhoenix.com) — A dominant second half lifted No. 3 Green Bay past No. 6 Oakland on Thursday night at the Resch Center in the 2020 Horizon League Tournament Quarterfinals, pulling away for the 78-63 victory. The win is Green Bay’s (17-15) seventh in its last nine games, and earns yet another semifinal appearance in the tournament, its third in the last five seasons under head coach Linc Darner.
The Phoenix will now take on No. 2 Northern Kentucky in the tournament semifinals on Monday night at 8:30 p.m .CT at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum. The game will be televised live on ESPN2, with the winner advancing to the championship game on Tuesday night.
You can view the 2020 Horizon League Tournament bracket here. (PDF)
Both teams played a sluggish first half, eventually entering the half tied at 30-30 with neither team playing its best basketball. After a slow start to the second half, where Oakland led right away, GB would go on to score 16 of the next 20 points sparked by Cody Schwartz’ 10 points during that stretch. Schwartz finished with 16 points in the game, including a big and-1 in the second half to give his side the heavy momentum.
It really was a tale of two halves, with GB outscoring Oakland 48-33, dictating the pace of the game. GB also outrebounded the Golden Grizzlies (14-19) 24-11 in the second half, and finished the game with 46 points in the paint and 19 fastbreak points. Manny Patterson finished with 8 points and 10 rebounds, with Trevian Bell adding 6 points and 5 rebounds off the bench.
Once again though, it was the HL Freshman of the Year who came up big for the Phoenix, scoring a game-high 19 points with 6 rebounds. Davis now sits seven points away from breaking Tony Bennett’s program record for freshman scoring with 515 points, a record that has stood since 1988-89.
The GB defense held Oakland’s stars in check, with First Team All-League member Xavier Hill-Mais scoring 13 points and grabbing a HL-low 3 rebounds. Rashad Williams shot just 3-for-14 from the field, who came in averaging just over 19 points per game.
Fellow HL First-Team JayQuan McCloud had 11 points and 6 rebounds, with backcourt-mate Kameron Hankerson netting 10.
GB will head to Indianapolis as the hottest team in the Horizon League, and as the fourth-highest scoring team in the NCAA. The Phoenix and Norse split the two regular season meetings, with both teams winning on the road. The other semifinal game, which will tip at 6 p.m. CT, will feature No. 1 Wright State and No. 4 UIC.