GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Playing at the Resch Center for the final time in 2011, Green Bay welcomes Idaho to town Thursday for a 7 p.m. contest that will also mark the last non-conference game for the Phoenix until February. Against the Vandals, Green Bay will look to improve to 6-0 in 2011-12 on its home court, where it will not return until Jan. 12.
Nine days have passed since the Phoenix last took the court and topped Michigan Tech 69-61 at the Resch Center on Dec. 13. In that victory, sophomore center Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) reached the 20-point plateau for the second game in a row, totaling 20 points, nine rebounds and five blocks. Brown also swatted his 100th career shot in the contest.
Freshman point guard Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) had a coming out party against Michigan Tech, scoring a career-high 18 points which included two key buckets down the stretch.
Idaho visits Green Bay for the first time, and the Vandals are less than 48 hours away from a thrilling but heartbreaking overtime loss to another Horizon League opponent. WSU drained a game-winning three at the buzzer to win 80-78 after Idaho sent it to overtime with a game-tying halfcourt shot in regulation.
The Vandals' 6-10 junior center Kyle Barone posted a double-double against Wright State with 21 points and 14 rebounds while six other Idaho players scored between seven and 11 points. Barone (12.6 ppg) and two other Vandals - Deremy Geiger (13.3) and Stephen Madison (12.1) - average in double figures.
• INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay won the only previous meeting between the two schools, 62-50 in Boise on Nov. 17, 2000. The Phoenix is slated to play at Idaho in 2012-13.
• VANDALS PLAYER TO WATCH: Barone, a 6-10 junior center who was an All-WAC honorable mention selection in 2011, is averaging 12.6 points and eight rebounds per game. Barone was a Preseason All-WAC second-team selection.
• HOME SWEET HOME: Green Bay is 50-13 at home since 2007-08, a .794 winning percentage, including a 5-0 mark in 2011-12. In its five home contests, sophomore Alec Brown is averaging 16.8 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.8 blocks per game. The Phoenix defense is holding its opponents to just 38.8 percent from the field at the Resch Center.
• STRENGTH OF SCHEDULE: The Idaho contest is the team's final non-conference game until a BracketBuster game in February. As of Dec. 18, the team's strength of schedule was ranked as the sixth toughest nationally according to RPIRatings.com.
• 20-20: In his first 41 games, Brown reached 20 points just one time, but the sophomore has now scored 20 or more points in consecutive games. Brown, who is averaging 14.8 points, 7.9 rebounds and 3.0 blocks per game, ranks in the top-10 in the Horizon League in scoring (7th), rebounding and blocked shots.
• CENTURY MARK: Brown has posted back-to-back five block efforts against Marquette and Michigan Tech to reach 100 swats for his career in just 43 games. This season, Brown ranks second in the Horizon League and in the top-20 nationally with an average of 3.0 blocks per contest. The school record for career blocks is 132, set by Terry Evans from 2005-2009.
• FRESHMAN FURY: Sykes, who is still just 17 years old, had a breakout game against Michigan Tech. The 5-foot-10 Sykes, who turns 18 later this month, finished with a career-high 18 points in 31 minutes.
Season tickets, Pick 5 packages and single-game tickets for both programs are currently on sale with the Green Bay ticket office. For more information on ticket packages and promotions, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.
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