The Green Bay men’s basketball team used its defense to pick up its second victory of the season on Friday night, grinding out a tough 57-50 win over Florida A&M at the Resch Center. The Phoenix (2-2) made only 14 field goals, but shot 24-for-29 from the free throw line and held the Rattlers (1-6) to just 1-for-14 from 3-point range.
Khalil Small helped the Phoenix convert 7 of its final 8 free throw attempts, putting away Florida A&M down the stretch. Small finished 11-for-12 from the free throw line and scored a team-high 16 points. Through four games this year, the senior from Chicago is shooting 91.2 percent (31-for-34) from the charity stripe and has scored in double figures in all four games.
Green Bay trailed 31-25 at the half, turning the ball over 10 times and shooting just 7-for-22 from the field. Florida A&M scored 15 second-chance points in the opening 20 minutes, and held GB to a season-low in points. The story changed in the second half.
After FAMU scored 45 seconds in the second half to take a 33-27 lead, the Phoenix clamped down to hold the Rattlers scoreless until the 10:06 mark of the half. During the 9-plus minute stretch of no scoring for FAMU, GB created its largest lead of the game at nine with a 42-33 lead, accounting for a 15-0 run.
GB would lead the rest of the way and made a key stop leading 54-50 with just over a minute to play. The Rattlers wouldn’t score in the final 1:47 of the game.
Kameron Hankerson scored 12 points, knocking down a pair of 3s in the effort. TJ Parham added nine points off the bench and converted 1 of 2 3-point attempts, the fourth-straight game Parham has made at least one 3.
Senior David Jesperson scored seven points and grabbed five rebounds, and was key on the defensive end as well. Freshman Manny Patterson grabbed nine rebounds and scored 5 points, playing key minutes down the stretch with fellow-freshman PJ Pipes. Pipes had 3 steals, 3 assists and 3 points.
The 3-point defense continued to impress for the Phoenix, now holding opponents to 10.2 percent (10-for-98) from 3-point range. GB led all NCAA teams coming into the game in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
The Phoenix will hit the Resch Center floor again next Monday (Nov. 27) night when it plays host to Stetson. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.