GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The Green Bay Phoenix men’s basketball team hung with the top squad in the Horizon League through some early adversity, but ultimately it was Youngstown State riding a 20-0 second half run to come away with the 86-70 victory.
The loss marked GB’s 10th straight dating back to early December. The Phoenix now sit at 2-18 on the season with a 1-8 mark in Horizon League play. Green Bay would need to go 8-4 or better the rest of the season to avoid its worst three-year stretch in program history.
Despite giving up an 11-0 run to start the game, the Phoenix fought back to cut the margin to three, led by strong scoring efforts from Clarence Cummings III and Brock Heffner, who tallied a career-high 24 points.
Leading 37-32, Youngstown State opened the second half with a flurry, at one point reeling off a 20-0 run to surge ahead.
The Penguins held a 31-point lead in the second half after coming into the game as a 14.5-point favorite, but a late Green Bay surge caused bettors to sweat.
Although gambling on Wisconsin college teams is not allowed at the state’s only two sportsbooks, Oneida and Mole Lake, college basketball bettors around the country were glued to the final seconds as the Phoenix made it competitive with Youngstown State’s starters still on the floor.
Trailing by 27 with 6:25 remaining, Green Bay cut the lead to 14 with just 32 seconds left. The Penguins tried to get one more shot off, but Heffner blocked a runner by YSU leading scorer Dwayne Cohill. Myles Hunter missed a three-pointer with the final seconds ticking off the clock, but at the buzzer, Adrian Nelson tipped in the final layup to give the Penguins a 16-point win.
As is now standard practice on close plays, even when the result is in hand, officials went to the monitor to review if Nelson did indeed get the shot off in time – and the ruling on the court was upheld, covering the “spread” for YSU by a point and a half.
Green Bay returns to the Resch Center Saturday evening to take on Robert Morris, hoping to snap a 10-game losing skid and earn the Phoenix’s second conference victory of the season.