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MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Green Bay advances to Horizon League title game with OT victory over top-seeded Valparaiso

| March 8, 2016 | Comments (0)

BY DAN STICKRADT

CORRESPONDENT

dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com

Twitter: @LocalSportsFans

DETROIT — Having to play four games in four days can seem like a challenge.

Not for Wisconsin-Green Bay.

The fourth-seeded Phoenix made sure they will play on a fourth consecutive date, advancing to the Horizon League finals with a 99-92 overtime upset victory Monday night over top-seeded Valparaiso at the Joe Louis Arena.

Green Bay will play at 7 p.m. Tuesday at JLA against the winner of the No. 2 Oakland and No. 3 Wright State with an automatic NCAA bid on the line.

“We’re (18 to 22) year-olds. We’ve played several games in one day before, so fatigue won’t be a problem,” said senior guard Jordan Fouse, one of four Phoenix in double figures with a team-high 25 points and 10 rebounds. “We’ll be ready (on Tuesday).”

Green Bay coach Linc Darner believes his team has the correct mindset to not be physically challenge on playing on a fourth straight day.

“With the style we play, I don’t think it’s going to hurt us,” said Darner. “We won’t talk about it. We’ll just go out and play. This happens every year (where teams have to play four games) to reach the tournament.”

Valparaiso (26-6) will await its fate, having already clinched at least a berth in the NIT as the Horizon League regular season champions. The Crusaders could likely going to grab an at-large NCAA berth this weekend thanks to its overall record, RPI and schedule strength.

Valpo landed five players in double figures, led by 32 points and 12 rebounds by Alec Peters. Keith Carter added 15 points, Victor Nickerson chipped in 13 points, Shane Hammink followed with 11 points and David Skara twined 10 points for the Crusaders.

Green Bay fought for a 35-32 halftime lead. Green Bay led by as many as eight points in the second half, only to see Valpo’s Peters score on a layup following a full-court pass by Skara with one second left in regulation.

“I’ve got to give these guys all the credit,” said Darner. “We were debating as a coaching staff, do we foul, do we miss, if they throw it 90 feet and it goes in? Do we call a time out? But what a job these guys did themselves in OT.”

Carrington Love’s lay-up with 1:11 left in overtime gave the Phoenix (22-12) a 91-81 advantage and Valpo would get no closer than five points down the stretch.

Love added 23 points for Green Bay, while Charles Cooper scored 24 with eight boards and four assists and Jamar Hurdle twined 13 points for the Phoenix.

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About Dan Stickradt: DAN STICKRADT | SENIOR EDITOR dan.stickradt@northoaklandsports.com View author profile.

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