Men's Basketball Game Preview: at Northern Kentucky - Feb. 9, 6:30 PM
CATCH THE ACTION: Thursday, Feb. 9 - 6:30 p.m. CT // Highland Heights, Ky. (BB&T Arena)
Matchup: Green Bay Phoenix (15-9, 9-3 HL) at Northern Kentucky Norse (15-9, 6-5 HL)
Where to Watch: TV - Spectrum Sports Online - ESPN3
Where to Follow: Live Stats - www.nkunorse.com
Where to Listen: WNFL - 101.9 FM / 1440 AM
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixmbb
Green Bay has won the only two meetings all-time between the two schools, which started last season when NKU was in its inaugural season in the Horizon League.
The Phoenix picked up its best win of the season on Saturday, taking down league-leading Valparaiso 86-69 in convincing fashion at the Resch Center. Five players registered in double-figures for Green bay, led by Kerem Kanter’s 17 points and nine rebounds. GB shot 35 free throws to Valpo’s 18 and handed the Crusaders their worst rebounding margin of the season at 53-32. The Phoenix defense forced Valpo into 14 turnovers, while finishing just eight of its own in the game. Charles Cooper scored 15 points and Warren Jones continued his strong play with 12 points on eight made free throws.
80 OR MORE
Green Bay has now scored 80 or more points in six-straight games and is averaging 85.7 PPG over that stretch. The Phoenix has scored 80 points or more in nine of its 12 Horizon League games this year, the most by any HL team. Green Bay leads the Horizon League in scoring at 81.2 PPG and ranks second in scoring margin at plus 4.8. Green Bay is 11-3 when scoring 80 or more points this season.
Senior Warren Jones has now reached double-figures in six-straight games for Green Bay, the longest current streak of any GB player. Jones has scored 10 or more points in eight of 12 Horizon League games this season and has made at least one 3-pointer in nine of those games. He now ranks second on the team in scoring in league play with 11.3 PPG, while leading Green Bay in assists, 3-pointers made and 3-point FG%. Jones leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage at 55.0 percent (22-for-40), nearly 100 percentage points above the second-place shooter in the league.
KENNETH LOWE KEY ON D
Senior Kenneth Lowe may be the most important person to Green Bay’s success this season, but doesn’t always get the praise as those putting up big scoring numbers. Lowe has now reached double-figures in three of his last four games, after scoring in double-figures only twice in the previous 20 games. In league play alone, the athletic forward leads the Phoenix in steals (21) and blocks (17), while also leading the team in field goal percentage at 49.4 percent (40-for-81). Lowe is second in the league in steals (1.8 per game), fourth in blocks (1.4 per game) and sixth in offensive rebounds (2.5 per game). The senior also ranks fourth all-time in program history in blocks with 126, trailing Terry Evans for third all-time at 132 career blocks.
vs. NORTHERN KENTUCKY
The two teams met for the first time ever last season, with Green Bay sweeping the season series. The Phoenix won 86-70 in Green Bay and 85-78 at NKU.
Five players scored in double-figures for the Phoenix against Valparaiso, the fifth time this season GB has seen five players score 10 or more points. Green Bay is 2-0 in Horizon League games when that happens and 4-1 overall, with the only defeat coming against Marcus Keene and Central Michigan. In six Horizon League games this year, the Phoenix has had four players score in double-figures and has gone 4-2 in those games. The Phoenix is 8-2 overall when four players get 10 or more points this season.
The Phoenix recorded 52 points off the bench, its highest total in any Horizon League game in its recent win against Cleveland State. The team has scored 44 points or more in bench scoring in four of its 12 league games and is averaging 37.1 bench points per game in Horizon League play. That total leads the Horizon League and gives the Phoenix and head coach Linc Darner the option to play multiple players.
Green Bay has six seniors on the roster for 2016-17, the most in over 10 years. The six seniors, led by Charles Cooper’s 14.2 PPG, are combining to score 65 percent of the team’s points. Warren Jones (11.3 PPG), Jamar Hurdle (8.1 PPG), Turner Botz (7.3 PPG), Kenneth Lowe (7.6 PPG) and Tevin Findlay (4.6 PPG) are all in their last year of eligibility in Green Bay, giving the Phoenix the most seniors on roster in the entire Horizon League. All six are averaging 16 MPG or more.
With Trevor Anderson missing the last four games, Warren Jones and Tevin Findlay have both been asked to step up and fill the void, and have both done so with a high level of success. Jones averaged 17.4 MPG with Anderson active for 19 games and has seen his minutes per game rise to 26.4 with him out for the last five. Findlay’s minutes per game average has gone from 15.6 MPG to 22.2 MPG with him out. Kenneth Lowe has also seen his minutes per game rise, increasing from 19.8 MPG with Anderson and 26.6 MPG without. Anderson was injured during the Cleveland State game on Jan. 23 and has now missed four-straight games after playing in seven minutes against the Vikings.
LAST 5 GAMES
The Phoenix has won four out of its last five games and has five players averaging in double-figures during this stretch. Warren Jones is averaging 14.8 PPG and is 17 to 7 in assist to turnover ratio, while Khalil Small is averaging 12.8 PPG and is 25-for-30 at the free throw line. In the last five games alone, Green Bay has made more free throws (109) than its opponents have attempted (108) during this stretch as well.
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