Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Horizon League Sees Little Drama in 1st round

Championship Week has gotten off to a crazy start and it began that way in the Horizon League as the three first round games got going. However, it certainly didn't end that way at all as all three home teams held serve and will move on to Friday's quarterfinal action.

There was one game that really had the drama going and that was the 6th seeded Youngstown State taking on 7th seeded Loyola (IL). The Big South had set the table for drama and this game picked up right were it left off. It took a crazy layup from DJ Cole with 2.5 seconds left in the game for the Penguins to seal the deal, winning 62-60, and advancing to face 3rd seed Wright State on Friday from Valparaiso.

Winning in dramatic fashion is nothing new for this team as they took down Loyola with last second shots in all three of their wins in the 2012-13 season. If you want to see just how crazy this shot was, here are the highlights for you:

That game set the tone, however the other two games decided they had had enough of the drama and it was butt-kicking time as 4th seeded Green Bay downed in-state rival Milwaukee by a score of 62-46. The Phoenix were led by all-everything guard Kiefer Sykes who poured in 16 points to go with 6 rebounds and 5 assists in the win. He was one of three GB players in double figures as center Alec Brown had a game high 18 points and forward Jordan Fouse had a double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The Phoenix also swept the seasons series with the Panthers, doing so in dominating fashion all three times.

In the other nightcap from the Horizon League it was 5th seeded Illinois-Chicago downing 8th seeded Cleveland State in the most lopsided of the games, 82-59, on the strength of center Josh Crittle's 20 point, 6 rebound performance. The win sets up all of the highest seeds to play each other in the quarterfinals.

It'll be (3) Wright State vs. (6) Youngstown State at 6pm and (4) Green Bay vs. (5) UIC at approximately 8:30pm on Friday night.

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