For the second straight night, Deonte Burton played the hero as he knocked down a 3-pointer with 2 seconds on the clock, giving Nevada a 71-69 victory over Green Bay in the schools’ first ever meeting.
Burton’s trey was an answer for Alec Brown’s go-ahead 3-pointer, which handed the Phoenix a 69-68 edge with 11 seconds left. It was the first lead for Green Bay since the 14:51 mark of the second half, when Brown hit a jumper for a 41-39 Green Bay lead.
A pair of Cole Huff free throws tied the game at 41-41 and Nevada wouldn’t trail again until there were 11 seconds remaining in the game.
The Phoenix stayed close throughout the second half though.
With 6:42 to go in the game, a fast-break layup by Brennan Cougill cut the deficit to one, 56-55. Green Bay trailed by two on three occasions, including 67-65 with 34 seconds to go, following a bucket by Kam Cerroni.
Early on it looked like the teams were playing their second game in a 24-hour span as play was sloppy.
It took both teams three and a half minutes to score as many points as the they had turnovers. A basket by Devonte Elliott made it a 4-2 Nevada advantage, while both teams had turned the ball over three times by the 16:29 mark of the first half.
Green Bay missed its first four shots from the field until Cerroni dropped in a bucket, tying it at 4-4 with 16:16 on the clock. Then Cerroni made a 3-pointer and was fouled. He converted the four-point play for an 8-4 Phoenix edge.
The cold shooting continued throughout the first 10 minutes of the game. Green Bay enjoyed an 18-14 lead halfway through the first half, but both squads were shooting under 40 percent from the field.
A Burton 3-pointer and a pair of free throws knotted the score at 19-19 with 8:23 remaining before the break.
However, the Wolf Pack wouldn’t take the lead again until there was 5:36 on the clock thanks to back-to-back scores by Elliott, pushing Nevada ahead 23-21.
Both teams found some offense heading into the break as the Pack outscored its Horizon League foe 12-10 over the final five minutes to take a 35-31 lead into the locker room. Green Bay was 9-of-27 from the floor in the first half, while Nevada was 13-of-32.
The opponents finished nearly identical in shooting percentage. The Phoenix made 42.6 percent of its shots compared to 42.4 percent by Nevada. The difference was the extra 3-pointer by the home team.
Burton led all scorers with 19 points. Marqueze Coleman and Elliott added 11 and 10 points respectively.
Green Bay (2-1) had four players finish in double figures, led by Cougill’s 16 and Cerroni’s 14. Brown chipped in 12, while Keifer Sykes had 11 in the losing cause.
Nevada (2-1) concludes tourney play against Southern Utah today at 3:30 p.m.