ROCHESTER (GreenBayPhoenix.com) --- In one of the most exciting games Green Bay has played this season, it came up just short at Oakland on Sunday afternoon 92-88 in a double-overtime back and forth game at the Athletics Center O'rena. The Phoenix (14-15, 9-7 HL) was ready to claim the road win leading by two with 5 seconds left and Oakland at the free throw line, but the Golden Grizzlies (12-17, 7-9 HL) snagged the offensive rebound and the putback to force another OT they would go on to win.
Senior JayQuan McCloud had a pair of what would-be game-winning shots at the end of regulation and the first overtime, but both did everything but go in. McCloud led GB with 26 points and five mad 3s, some of which came at clutch times. Fellow-guards Kameron Hankerson (16 pts) and Amari Davis (13 pts) did their best to help get the road win, but Xavier Hill-Mais was the deciding factor for Oakland with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Hill-Mais hit the game-winning 3-pointer with 27 seconds left in the second overtime, before the two teams exchanged free throws to close the game.
GB led 40-30 at the break, but Oakland came out strong out of the gate and grabbed control, before the Phoenix showed its resilient effort and didn't back down. The first overtime belonged to Green Bay, taking a seven-point lead early on after a Cody Schwartz 3-pointer. Oakland came back with a 6-0 run of its own, and the late offensive rebound send the game to an exciting second overtime at 80-80.
The loss puts Green Bay in a 3-way tie for third place at 9-7 with Youngstown State and UIC. The Phoenix and Penguins will play at the Resch Center on Thursday night, in what could be the deciding factor in who gets that No. 3 seed. UIC will host Detroit Mercy and Oakland to end its regular season. Pending results, the seeding will come down to a host of tournament tiebreakers.
PJ Pipes had 11 points off the bench, and forwards Will Chevalier, Josh McNair, Manny Patterson and Schwartz did their best to contend with Hill-Mais in the post. Bell added 8 points and Schwartz finished with 9 points and 9 rebounds.
GB will play its final two regular season games at home, hosting YSU on Thursday night at the Resch Center and Cleveland State at the Kress Center for Krash the Kress and Senior Night on Saturday night at 7 p.m.
McCloud finished with 26 points, his 4th 20-plus point game in his last 5 games
There were 12 lead changes and neither team led by more than 10 points
GB held Oakland to 7-for-25 from 3, forcing some big misses late
GB had four players in double-figures
GB and Oakland split the season series
McCloud had two looks at a potential game-winner to end regulation and overtime
The Phoenix forced 20 turnovers, and 24 points off those turnovers
GB finishes the HL regular season with a 5-4 road record
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