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Phoenix's NCAA hopes dashed with conference quarterfinal loss to Milwaukee

First-year head coach Sundance Wicks engineered a remarkable turnaround, winning 15 more games this year than last, but the Phoenix lost five of their last six games to close out the season.
Posted at 1:12 AM, Mar 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-08 02:12:20-05

GREEN BAY, Wis. (NBC 26) — Sundance Wicks engineered a remarkable turnaround in his first season on the job, but UW-Green Bay's men's basketball team came up short of its ultimate goal.

The Phoenix fell to arch rival UW-Milwaukee in Thursday's Horizon League Quarterfinal, ending their hopes of an NCAA Tournament berth.

  • Milwaukee beat Green Bay 95-84, the Panthers' second win over the Phoenix in less than a week.
  • UWM's B.J. Freeman led all scorers with 32 points; Green Bay star Noah Reynolds, in his first game back from an ankle sprain, paced the Phoenix with 27 points.
  • Milwaukee only made four 3-point shots but dominated down low, scoring 54 points in the paint.
  • The Panthers will move on to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament. Two more wins would put them in the NCAA Tournament.
  • Green Bay ends its season at 18-4, posting 15 more wins than the 2022-23 campaign.

"A year ago if we were to actually sit here and say you could put a team together at Green Bay and go from 3-29 to 18-14, you would have either been laughed off the stage - they would have called you a crazy lunatic - or you might have been called a miracle worker," a teary-eyed Wicks said following the game. "This team is nothing short of miraculous."
"The ride these guys took us on and that this program will continue to go on is strictly because of the foundation that these guys laid," he added.