GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After seeing its rally spoiled by UIC on Thursday night, Green Bay will aim to bounce back quickly on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. at Loyola in the Horizon League Game of the Week. The Phoenix has bounced back well of late, winning three of its last four games following a loss.
Green Bay's defense was the catalyst in the teams' first meeting this season, a 57-47 Phoenix victory on Jan. 9 at the Resch Center. Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) tied a school-record with seven steals and Green Bay forced 18 turnovers and held Loyola to just 31.6 percent shooting. The Phoenix dominated the opening 20 minutes and led 28-12 at halftime.
The Phoenix has won three-straight games against the Ramblers, including a series sweep in 2011-12. In those three meetings, Green Bay has leaned on its post players. Senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) and junior Alec Brown have combined to average 26 points and 15.3 rebounds per contest. The duo has made 32-of-57 shots from the field.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans will be able to catch Saturday afternoon's Horizon League game at Loyola live on Time Warner Cable's Sports32, the Horizon League Network and ESPN3.com. Jim Barbar will handle the play-by-play dutie Joel Cornette alongside as the color analyst.
The game will also be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM and online at thefan1075.com. The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Matt Menzl will be on the call alongside Andrew Gavin. Live stats will be available on LoyolaRamblers.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
1. INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay holds a 25-15 edge in the 40 all-time meetings against Loyola. The Phoenix has won three-straight games and seven of the past eight contests versus the Ramblers. In contests in Chicago, Loyola has the advantage with a 10-8 record. In last year's meeting at the Gentile Center, junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) made a game-winning three at the buzzer as the Phoenix won 73-70 in overtime.
2. SYKES IN THE CITY: Sophomore Keifer Sykes, a Chicago native and a Marshall High School grad, has been terrific in his three games in his hometown. The 5-foot-11 guard scored 18 points on Friday night and is now averaging 19.3 points and six assists per game while shooting 50 percent from the field in games played in Chicago.
3. IMPACT FRESHMAN: Thursday was another stat stuffing night for Fouse. In 31 minutes, Fouse totaled six points, seven rebounds, four blocks, three assists and two steals. The strong effort for the true freshman is common for one of three Phoenix players (Brown, Sykes) to start all 21 games. The 6-foot-7 Fouse leads all Horizon League newcomers in rebounds (2nd), blocks (3rd) and steals (t4th).
• WINDY CITY WINNING: In the past two seasons, Green Bay has experienced success against teams from Chicago. Led by Chicago native Keifer Sykes, the Phoenix is 7-1 against Loyola (3-0), UIC (3-1) and Chicago State (1-0). Sykes had 11 points and nine assists in the first meeting against Loyola, and the sophomore is averaging 14.6 points and 4.6 assists per game in the eight games against his hometown schools.
• DEFEND THE HORIZON: Green Bay sits in a tie for fourth place in the Horizon League standings as the top six teams enter Friday night separated by just 1.5 games. Green Bay is in position to fight for the conference title based on its defense and rebounding. Through nine games, Green Bay leads the conference in scoring defense (59.4), field goal percentage defense (.367), three-point field goal percentage defense (.284), rebounding margin (+5.4) and blocked shots (5.7).
• STILL ON GUARD: In Green Bay's five league wins, the Phoenix has not allowed more than 58 points and has a scoring defense of 50.8. The team's victory margin is 15.0 and it has made twice as many free throws (86-43). Those five opponents are shooting just 33.6 percent from the field and are being outrebounded by 9.6 boards per game. In its four HL losses, Green Bay is allowing 70.2 points per game and 40.9 percent shooting. The Phoenix rebounding margin dips to just plus-0.3 and its opponents have made 38 more free throws.
• RESERVE ROLES: Green Bay's bench has provided a solid lift in recent games, contributing double figures in seven-straight games. Against Cleveland State, three Phoenix players combined for 31 points off the pine, and the reserves outscored the Milwaukee bench 21-0. Cougill has reached double figures off the bench in seven of nine Horizon League games, including five consecutive.
• BROWN'S GRAND NIGHT: Brown sparked Green Bay's dominant second half last Friday, scoring 15 of his career-high 23 points. The 7-foot-1 big man surpassed the 1,000-career point mark in the process to become the 25th member of the program's 1,000-point club. On Monday, Brown was recognized for his strong play against Valpo and Milwaukee when he was named Horizon League Player of the Week (20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks per game).
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay is first in the Horizon League and its 75.5 percent from the line ranks 15th nationally. The Phoenix is 360-477 on the season and also ranks tied for 25th nationally in free throws made per game (16.4). Green Bay has made more free throws than any team ranked in the top-30 in free-throw percentage.
- In the past two seasons, @gbphoenixmbb is 7-1 against Chicago schools #gophoenix
- Shooting 75.5% at the free-throw line, @gbphoenixmbb ranks 15th nationally and first in the @HorizonLeague #gophoenix #HLMBB
- With 360 made free throws, @gbphoenixmbb has made more FTs than any team in the top-30 nationally in FT% #gophoenix #HLMBB
- On Jan. 28, junior Alec Brown was named @HorizonLeague Player of the Week for the 1st time in his career #gophoenix #HLMBB
- When holding its opponents below 60 points this season, @gbphoenixmbb has a 10-0 record #gophoenix #HLMBB
- .@gbphoenixmbb grabbed a season-high 19 off. rebounds against Milwaukee and scored a season-high 24 2nd-chance points #gophoenix #HLMBB
- After making a combined 11 threes in 2011-12, Keifer Sykes (17) and Alec Brown (13) have hit 30 triples this season #gophoenix #HLMBB
- Senior Brennan Cougill has reached double figures in 5-straight and 7 of 9 games in @HorizonLeague play #gophoenix #HLMBB
Single-game tickets for Phoenix home games are on sale with the Green Bay Athletics Ticket Office. For more information and to order tickets, please call 920.465.2625, visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.
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