Phoenix Rise Up For 72-61 Victory Over Zags
Dec. 20, 2000
GREEN BAY, Wis. -
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay out-rebounded Gonzaga by a 12-2 margin during a crucial five minute stretch of the second half as the host Phoenix snapped a five game losing skid with a 72-61 win over the Zags. The game was played in front of 3,109 fans who braved the snowing Green Bay conditions to make it to the Brown County Coliseum on Wednesday night.
During that crucial five minute stretch of the second half Green Bay was able to convert that 10 rebound advantage into a 14-2 run that gave the Phoenix a 64-49 lead with just over 3:30 remaining in the game. Mike King scored 8 of his 14 points during that run sinking three straight jumpers from the lower left corner.
After falling behind early to open the contest on two 7-0 Green Bay runs, the Zags tied the contest at 23-23 with 5:49 remaining in the opening period. Mark Spink scored two of his 8 first half points sending home a dunk on an assist by Casey Calvary. King then sank a bucket for the Phoenix which was answered by a Calvary hook shot in the lane at 4:33. That would leave the game tied at 25-25 and be the last time Gonzaga was tied for the lead all night.
Paul Kraft hit his only 3-pointer of the evening to spark a 13-2 Green Bay run to end the last 3:11 of the first half. Chris Sager hit a bucket at 1:05 to put the Phoenix up by 10 points and hit a runner off the glass at the buzzer to send Green Bay to the locker room with a 38-27 lead. Sager would finish the first half with 15 of his team high 19 points.
Gonzaga opened the second half with Calvary and Spink drawing their third personal fouls of the game. This seemed to light a fire under the Bulldogs as they opened the first five minutes of the second half with a 12-5 run. both Phoenix field goals coming on Gonzaga goaltending calls as the Zags trimmed the margin to 43-39. Calvary led the Gonzaga assault with eight points in the run as he finished with a game-high 22 points.
Wisconsin-Green Bay answered the Zags challenge in the next 3 minutes of play as Chancellor Collins scored on a tip-in rebound and Greg Monfre drained a 3-pointer en route to a career-high 12 points, the Phoenix pushing their lead back to 46-39.
Alex Hernandez sparked the next Gonzaga run at the 9:45 mark scoring on a spinning move in the paint and Blake Stepp hit a 3-pointer to put the Zags within four points at 48-44 with just over 9 minutes remaining. Wisconsin-Green Bay would then hold Gonzaga without a field goal for the next four minutes putting the contest away.
Gonzaga fell to 5-4 on the season with the loss and marked the first time since the end of the 1996-97 season that a Bulldog team has dropped three straight. Calvary led all scorers with 22 points hitting 9-of-14 from the free throw line. Calvary, GU's leading rebounder, was held to a season-low 2 rebounds in the contest as the Zags were out-rebounded 40-26 on the evening. No other Bulldog player reached double figures in scoring as Stepp ended the game with 9 points and Spink 8.
Wisconsin-Green Bay improves to 4-7 on the season, snapping a five-game losing streak. Sager led the Phoenix with 19 points while pulling down 8 rebounds. Collins just missed a double-double with 10 points and 9 rebounds, 6 on the offensive glass.
The Zags return to Spokane on Thursday afternoon and will take a few days off for Christmas before resuming their schedule with a Dec. 30 game against Monmouth University.
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