KANSAS CITY, Mo. (GreenBayPhoenix.com)- Hot shooting by UMKC in the second half handed the Green Bay men’s basketball team a tough 92-82 loss in the First Round of the CBI presented by FIVE FOUR on Wednesday night at the Swinney Recreation Center. Green Bay ends the season at 18-14 after making its seventh postseason appearance in the last nine years.
The Kangaroos (18-16) made their last seven field goals in the game and scored 52 second-half points, including 7-for-11 shooting from 3 in the final 20 minutes. LaVell Boyd scored 28 points and Kyle Steward scored 20, pushing UMKC into the Quarterfinals of the CBI.
The visiting Phoenix trailed by just two at 75-73 with 3:23 left in the game, before the Kangaroos made back-to-back 3s to go up by eight. Green Bay would never get closer than six points the rest of the way.
Kerem Kanter scored a team-high 20 points and grabbed six rebounds, shooting an efficient 8-for-9 from the field. Green Bay shot 47 percent (30-for-64) from the field, but went just 4-for-21 from 3-point range. UMKC finished 13-for-23 from 3 in the game.
In his final game in a Phoenix uniform, Charles Cooper scored 17 points and dished out five assists. Khalil Small added 12 points and five rebounds.
Green Bay trailed by just four at the break, 39-35, after both teams exchanged baskets throughout the first half. Kenneth Lowe threw down a dunk after a Khalil Small as the first half came to a close, but UMKC answered with a 3-pointer by Boyd with two seconds left on the clock.
The road defeat served as the final game for six Green Bay seniors, Cooper, Lowe, Turner Botz, Jamar Hurdle, Tevin Findlay and Warren Jones. Together, the group helped Green Bay capture its first NCAA Tournament bid in 20 years last season, and helped garner national attention to the program.
Green Bay will return multiple key players from this season in 2017-18, including All-Defensive Team member Small and the team’s leader in doubles-doubles and rebounding in Kanter. Freshmen Trevor Anderson and Kameron Hankerson will return for their sophomore seasons, after gaining quality experience as true freshman in the Horizon League.