STARKVILLE, Miss. (GreenBayPhoenix.com)- The Green Bay men’s basketball team was able to hang tough against Mississippi State on Monday night in Starkville, falling by only nine 77-68 at The Hump, as the team continues to grow and improve as a young group. It was the second game for the Phoenix (1-2) in the Hoops in the Heartland benefitting Men Against Breast Cancer, and the only road game it will play in the event, before returning home to face Florida A&M and Stetson.
Green Bay fell behind big early on, trailing 24-8 at the 10:48 mark as MSU would enjoy a run of 16-3 and an 11-0 run to open the game. The Phoenix then battle back to close the half, and received a spark heading to the locker room after TJ Parham buried a 3 at the buzzer to close out the first half.
GB trailed by only eight points at the half, 40-32, despite turning it over 12 times and shooting just 36 percent (9-for-25). The Phoenix defense, which switched back and forth between man to man and a 1-3-1 zone, held the Bulldogs (3-0) to 2-for-15 from 3 in the opening half and into eight turnovers.
After a 10-0 run by the Phoenix from the 12:53 mark to the 10:48 point of the second half, Green Bay trailed by only four points after Parham knocked down both free throws. That’s as close as GB would get, as MSU promptly responded with four points and would hold at least a 6-point lead the rest of the way.
Khalil Small and Parham led the scoring efforts for the Phoenix, with each recording 15 points in the game. Small also grabbed seven rebounds while Parham went 3-for-5 from 3-point range.
The game was won in the paint for the Bulldogs, who racked up 48 points down low thanks to the presence and size of Abdul Ado (6-11) and Aric Holman (6-10), who combined for 25 points and 16 rebounds. Lamar Peters led MSU with 18 points and Nick Weatherspoon was also in double-figures with 10 points.
Kameron Hankerson also finished in double-figures for the second-straight game, recording 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting. Manny Patterson and Will Chevalier each added nine points, while David Jesperson and Trevian Bell chipped in with five points each.
Mississippi State’s size challenged Green Bay’s shooting, although MSU only held a slight 39-36 edge in rebounding. MSU did block six shots and shot 46 percent (29-for-63) from the field.
The Phoenix will return home to the Resch Center on Black Friday (Nov. 24), when they host Florida A&M for a 6 p.m. tip time. The first 500 fans will receive a free tote bag, courtesy of Pepsi. Fans will also receive a ticket voucher for a buy one ticket get one free for next Monday’s game against Stetson.