Sukhjot Bains chose the perfect moment for his career-high 10 points, scoring a driving layup with 17.5 seconds left to give Green Bay the 59-57 comeback victory over Eastern Illinois at the Resch Center on Wednesday night. The Phoenix (3-4) didn’t get its first lead in the second half until that game-winner by Bains, and trailed by as many as 18 points to the visiting Panthers (2-6).
With Green Bay trailing 57-51, senior Khalil Small buried a big 3-pointer, which answered the 3-pointer made by EIU the possession prior. Following Small’s 3 to bring the score to 57-54, Bains stole the ball and dished it ahead. Seven seconds later, David Jesperson found Bains at the top of the key for a 3, which the junior buried to tie the game.
The ensuing possession, the GB defense forced a tough 3, which missed off the back of the rim. Bains’ game-winner would follow nearly 30 seconds later.
Small led all scorers with 20 points, a new season-high, recording his 7thgame in 7 trys in double-figures. Small also grabbed 4 rebounds and went 8-for-10 from the field, including a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.
The Panthers were seemingly in control the entire night, and led by 13 points with 8:30 left to play. The Phoenix defense then locked in down the stretch, switching from a tough zone to man-to-man, and allowed EIU to score just 3 points (on one made 3-pointer) the final 6:16 of the game.
EIU went on runs of 21-2 and 11-0 at various points of the game, but GB used the most timely run of all, a 12-3 run to end the game.
TJ Parham added 8 points and 5 assists, while Hunter Crist finished with 7 points. GB attempted its fewest number of free throws all year, walking to the charity stripe just four times and making two.
GB finished with 13 assists in the game, its highest total in a D1 game this season.
The 18 points overcome to win are the most points overcome since the team’s 80-71 win over NKU last year on Jan. 10, when GB trailed by as many as 15 points against the visiting Norse.
EIU was led by Montell Goodwin, who finished with a team-high 19 points.
The Phoenix will hit the road for a tough two-game swing, visiting Missouri on Saturday (Dec. 9) and Indiana State next Tuesday (Dec. 12). Tip-off on Saturday night in Columbia will be a late 8 p.m. CT, with the game being televised live on the SEC Network.