Men's Basketball Game Preview: vs Northern Kentucky (1/10/17)
CATCH THE ACTION: Tuesday, January 10 - 7:00 p.m. CT // Green Bay, Wis. (Resch Center)
Matchup: Green Bay Phoenix (9-6, 3-0 HL) vs Northern Kentucky Norse (12-5, 3-1 HL)
Tickets: Order Here
Where to Watch: TV - TWC SportsChannel Online - ESPN3 (subject to blackout in Green Bay & Cincinnati area)
Where to Follow: Live Stats - www.phoenixstats.com
Where to Listen: WNFL - 101.9 FM / 1440 AM
Game Program Cover: #45 Kenneth Lowe, Sr., Little Chute, Wis.
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixmbb
Green Bay leads short list of meetings in the all-time series, having won both games last year. The Phoenix knocked off NKU in its Horizon League opener last season (86-70) then followed it up with a road win in Highland Heights (85-78).
LAST TIME OUT - W, 80-74 vs Milwaukee
Green Bay used 20 points from Charles Cooper and 27 made free throws to stave off in-state rival Milwaukee on Friday night at Resch Center, winning 80-74 to remain perfect in league play at 3-0. The Phoenix (9-6, 3-0 HL) has now started 3-0 in conference action for the fourth-consecutive season. Cooper's 20 points matched his average over the past two games, having now scored 19, 22 and 20 points in his first three Horizon League games to start the year. Cooper scored 12 of his 20 points from the free throw line, going 12-for-15 and grabbing five rebounds. The Phoenix used a 19-0 run in the second half, when it held Milwaukee (4-12, 0-3 HL) scoreless for over seven minutes. Green Bay led by as many as 17 points in the game and led for the final 13:54 of the game. Green Bay matched a season-high block total with 10 blocks in the game, led by Jamar Hurdle and Kenneth Lowe who each swatted three shots. Lowe also grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Phoenix is riding a five-game winning streak, which is the most consecutive wins in a season since 2014-15. Green Bay will go for its sixth-straight win against Northern Kentucky and that would be the best stretch since the Horizon League regular season championship season of 2013-14. That team won 12 games in a row, including a 7-0 start in league. Four players are averaging in double-figures during this stretch, led by Charles Cooper with 16.0 PPG. Kerem Kanter (12.8 PPG), Jamar Hurdle (12.8 PPG) and Trevor Anderson (12.6 PPG) are all playing at a high level over this period. The team is plus 4.6 in turnover margin and is playing some of its best basketball on the defensive end, averaging 10.8 steals per game and 6.8 blocks per game. Green Bay is shooting 46.7 percent from the field and is scoring 89.6 points per game.
Charles Cooper continued his strong play, scoring 20 points against Milwaukee and making 12 of 15 free throws. Cooper is now averaging 20.3 PPG in Horizon League play and is shooting 53 percent from the field. He is second in the league in scoring, 8th in rebounding, 7th in steals and 12th in field goal percentage. Cooper has now posted three 20-point scoring games this season and has reached double figures in 10 games this year. The native of Gary, Ind., garnered his first-ever Horizon League Player of the Week award for this outstanding play in Cleveland and Youngstown in the opening weekend.
Kerem Kanter bounced back against Milwaukee with his third double-double of the season, scoring 15 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. Kanter was coming off a two-point outing at Youngstown State, which snapped a stretch of six straight games in double figures. Kanter’s 15-point outing against the Panthers gives him double-figure scoring outputs in seven of eight games. He is averaging 9.3 PPG and a team-best 8.7 RPG in Horizon League play.
The Phoenix bench has scored 40 or more points in four out of the last five games, giving Linc Darner the option to play multiple players throughout the game. Darner has played 11 players in two of three league games this year and the bench outscored the starting lineup against Milwaukee (44-36). Cooper has been the key spark off the bench, averaging over 20 points per game when coming off the bench.
HORIZON LEAGUE LEADERS
Even though the sample size is small, Green Bay is still leading the Horizon League in points per game (83.0), assists (18.0 per game), steals (9.5 per game), blocks (7.0 per game) and rebounds (46.5 per game). Individually, Cooper ranks third in the league in scoring (20.5 PPG) and fifth in rebounding (9.0 RPG), while Turner Botz is second in 3-point field goals made (4.0 per game) and Jamar Hurdle is fourth in blocked shots (2.5 BPG).
Through 15 games this season, Green Bay has enjoyed a balanced attack in multiple games. In 10 of 15 games this year, the Phoenix has had four players or more record double-figures in points. In the last eight games alone, there have been four or five players in seven of those games to notch double-figure scoring outputs. Three of the last eight games have seen five players in double figures, with the Phoenix going 4-2 in those games. Overall, Green Bay is 7-2 when four players or more reach 10-plus points.
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