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NCAA Basketball

Green Bay Basketball Overcomes Slow Start To Top Oakland

Wisconsin Green-Bay

Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

The Green Bay Phoenix have already put together a stellar season before Thursday night’s contest against Oakland. At 22-5, they seem like a good bet to win their conference tourney and march their way to the Big Dance.

The Golden Grizzlies were hoping to put a dent into those plans and nearly accomplished that feat. The Phoenix trailed by 13 entering the second half and needed a late rally to topple Oakland with the final score of 71-63.

Defense was the main reason behind this impressive comeback. After giving up an astounding 44 first half points, the Phoenix needed to clamp down on the defensive end. The remainder of the game proved that Green Bay was capable as it cut that number down drastically, outscoring Oakland 40-19.

Junior Guard Keifer Sykes led the way for the NCAA tournament hopefuls. He filled up the stat sheet, finishing with 16 points, six rebound and six assists.

Green Bay is currently seeded quite high in the latest edition of ESPN’s Bracketology. They sit as a 12 seed, which is usually a decent spot to score an upset or two.

A win like tonight shows resiliency for the Phoenix and that will be important come March. Of course, the future competition will easily be much better than the Golden Grizzlies. However, you have to build confidence in any way that you can get it.

The Phoenix have one game remaining against Detroit before gearing up for the Horizon League tournament. Due to the quality of this league, anything short of a conference championship may see Green Bay playing in the NIT instead.

Schuyler Machcinski is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @SkyGage123, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.