After picking up a much-needed win on Monday night against its rival, Green Bay ran into a league-leading Wright State team on Thursday night that entered the game as one of the hottest teams in the country and left the Resch Center the same. The Phoenix (8-14, 3-6 HL) fell 80-67 to the Raiders (15-5, 7-0 HL), trying to make things interesting in the second half after trailing by as many as 23 points, but was unable to climb all the way back.
Senior Khalil Small led the Phoenix with 20 points, eight rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes. Small has now scored 21 points or more in five of his last six games and also moved into 24th place all-time on the Green Bay career scoring list with 1,116 points. The Chicago-native passed Terry Evans and is now 20 points shy of tying former-teammate Jordan Fouse for 23rd all-time.
GB fell behind 12-2 to start the game and eventually trailed 26-9 with 8:03 left in the first half. Wright State took a 36-26 lead into halftime and finished 6-for-11 from the 3-point line over the first 20 minutes.
Small scored 17 points in the second half and the Phoenix scored 41 as a team, but the Raiders shot 60.7 percent (17-for-28) and scored 44 points of its own. WSU hit another five 3s in the second half and scored 22 of their 36 points in the paint as well.
David Jesperson scored 14 points, making three 3s and grabbing six rebounds. The 14 points scored is a personal-high in Horizon League games this year for the senior, who has now started in all 22 games and played 27 minutes in the game.
The Phoenix finished just 8-for-32 from long range, its most 3-point attempts in any HL game this season. PJ Pipes and Sandy Cohen III were both cold from the field, combining to shoot just 1-for-14 from the field and 0-for-9 from 3-point range.
Kameron Hankerson also finished in double-figures with 10 points, a game after scoring a career-high against Milwaukee on Monday.
GB will have another tough task in its next game on Saturday, when it plays host to Northern Kentucky (13-6, 6-1 HL) at the Resch Center. The game will tip at 12 noon and it’s also a Bud Light Night ($2 24 oz. beers).