GREEN BAY, Wis. (Courtesy: GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Making its first home appearance in exactly three weeks, the Green Bay men’s basketball team found themselves in a game of punch-counterpunch against in-state rival Milwaukee on Monday night, before the Phoenix received a go-ahead, punctuation dunk from junior Jamar Hurdle with 2:03 remaining that helped preserve a 70-68 win over the Panthers at the Resch Center.
For the moment, the victory gives Green Bay (16-11, 8-6 HL) sole possession of fourth place in the Horizon League standings, with Milwaukee (16-12, 7-7 HL) falling to fifth.
Phoenix junior forward Charles Cooper scored a game-high 18 points, however, he missed the front-end of a one-and-one attempt that would have given Green Bay a three or potentially four-point cushion in the waning seconds of regulation. Instead, Panthers guard Brock Stull secured the rebound and advanced the ball ahead to Austin Arians, whose 3-point attempt drew iron as the final buzzer sounded with Jordan Fouse closing out.
In what was a game of back-and-forth runs all night long, but it was the Phoenix who held Milwaukee just 2-of-its-last-12 from the field before taking its final lead on Hurdle’s aforementioned basket. After sophomore Khalil Small was forced out due to injury, the Milwaukee native Hurdle arguably played his best game in a Green Bay uniform, finishing with 11 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including seven rebounds and a career-high four blocks in 16 minutes.
Despite ending just 4-of-14 from the floor, Fouse (8 points/4 rebounds) recorded four steals for the Phoenix, tying him with Youngstown State’s Kendrick Perry (2010-14) for the most career steals in Horizon League history. Additionally, the Racine native is now just two points away from becoming the 28th player in Green Bay program annals to score 1,000 points.
The Phoenix, who entered play third in the nation in total steals, used a 12-1 advantage in that category to turn in a 18-2 advantage on fast-break points, while outscoring the Panthers 21-7 in points off turnovers.
Senior forward Matt Tiby scored a team-high 15 points for Milwaukee, while guard Jordan Johnson recorded six assists in the contest to surpass Kaylan Williams for the most in a single-season in school history.
Green Bay returns home on Saturday, when it continues its five-game homestand against Youngstown State at 1 p.m. at the Resch Center.