Men's Basketball Game Preview: vs Wright State (1/12/17)
CATCH THE ACTION: Thursday, January 12 - 7:00 p.m. CT // Green Bay, Wis. (Resch Center)
Matchup: Green Bay Phoenix (10-6, 4-0 HL) vs Wright State Raiders (11-6, 2-2 HL)
Tickets: Order Here
Where to Watch: Online - ESPN3
Where to Follow: Live Stats - www.phoenixstats.com
Where to Listen: WNFL - 101.9 FM / 1440 AM
Promotions: DigiCopy Team Photo Giveaway (first 750 fans) with postgame autographs
Game Program Cover: #0 Warren Jones, Sr., G, Centralia, Ill.
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixmbb
Green Bay leads Wright State 30-25 all-time, dating back to the first meeting in 1987. The Phoenix has won six of the last seven games against the Raiders, with the biggest victory in that stretch coming in the Motor City Madness Championship Game last year. Green Bay won that game 78-69 to punch its ticket to the Big Dance.
Green Bay blocked 10 shots against Northern Kentucky, which marked the third time the team has registered double-digit team blocks this season. It’s the third time in four games for the Phoenix, all coming in Horizon League play. Only two other times (2013-14 and 2014-15) in the Division I era has the program recorded 10-plus blocks three times in a season. The 2013-14 team (which had six games of 10-plus blocks) currently owns the record for most team blocks in a season (223) and Alec Brown has the individual record from that season for blocks (94). Never in the history of the program has the team notched 10 blocks or more four times in league play. Green Bay will need one more game (with 14 league games remaining) to be the first ever team to accomplish that feat. Individually, Kenneth Lowe ranks 45th in the country (31 blocks) in blocks and set a career-high with four against NKU. Lowe has six games this season with three or more blocks.
LAST TIME OUT
The Phoenix overcame a 15-point deficit (it’s largest comeback of the season and the largest since an 18-point comeback against Youngstown State at home last season) en route to a 80-71 home win. Green Bay outscored the Norse (which had won nine of its last 11 games coming in) 48-29 in the second half and enjoyed a 15-0 run to get back in the game. Five players finished in double figures and the Green Bay defense forced 19 turnovers and recorded 12 steals. The win kept Green Bay perfect in Horizon League play and moved its record to 5-1 at home this season.
The victory over Northern Kentucky gave the Phoenix its fourth-straight win to open Horizon League play, remaining atop the standings with Oakland which also owns a 4-0 record. Green Bay has started 4-0 in HL play three other times in the last 20 years (13-14, 04-05, 03-04) and has started 5-0 just twice. In each of those three seasons, Green Bay has finished no worse than third place in the league with the 2013-14 squad capturing the regular season title. The Phoenix leads the Horizon League in scoring offense, total rebounds, turnovers forced and ranks second in steals and free throw attempts.
LOWE AND BEHOLD
Kenneth Lowe may have played the best half of basketball by any Phoenix player this season, scoring eight-straight points during a stretch in the second half which catapulted Green Bay on its game-clinching 15-0 run. Lowe finished with a season-high 13 points on a season-high 29 minutes played. The Little Chute star recorded a career-high four blocks, three steals and five rebounds. He went 6-for-11 from the field and even attempted the first 3-pointer of his career, which nearly went in. Lowe has appeared in every game of his career (116 straight appearances) and has started in 52-straight games. With Green Bay guaranteed a minimum of 15 more games, should Lowe appear in each of those, he will move into a tie for third-place all-time in program history in games played with 131. Jordan Fouse and Carrington Love hold that record with 134 games played each. Lowe also ranks fourth all-time in blocks now with 120, trailing Terry Evans for third-place all-time with 132 blocks.
6 IN A ROW
With its dramatic comeback win over Northern Kentucky, Green Bay has now won six games in a row, its longest streak since 2013-14 (12 games in a row) and for just the fourth time since its first season in the Horizon League in 2001-02. Only twice in the last 16 seasons (Horizon League era) has the team won more than six games, winning nine-straight in 2003-04 and 12-straight in 2013-14. The six wins in a row is the longest current winning streak by any Horizon League team this season and ties the longest streak by a league foe (Oakland, 6 wins in a row). Green Bay is outscoring its opponents 88.0 to 74.7 during this stretch and is enjoying a plus-5.8 turnover margin, while registering 11.0 steals per game and 7.3 blocks per game.
COUNTING ON COOPER
Senior guard Charles Cooper tallied 13 points against NKU, giving him his fourth-straight double-figure scoring output and 11th game this season finishing in double-figures. Cooper leads the Phoenix in scoring with 13.9 points per game overall and 18.5 PPG in Horizon League play. Cooper is second on the team in rebounding in league play with 6.5 RPG and is shooting 50 percent (22-44) from the field. The Gary, Indiana, native also leads the team in steals with seven and is second in assists with 12 over the last four games.
BALANCE OF POWER
Through 16 games this season, Green Bay has enjoyed a balanced attack in multiple games. In 11 of 16 games this year, the Phoenix has had four players or more record double-figures in points. In the last nine games alone, there have been four or five players in eight of those games to notch double-figure scoring outputs. Four of the last nine games have seen five players in double figures, with the Phoenix going 5-2 in those games. Overall, Green Bay is 8-2 when four players or more reach 10-plus points.
BEST OF THE HORIZON LEAGUE
Green Bay has gone 41-13 in Horizon League play over the last three seasons, which is the best record among any Horizon League team during that stretch. Valparaiso is currently second at 40-13. The Phoenix has finished fourth or better in the League in each of the last three seasons and has won 20 or more games overall in each of those years as well. Green Bay has also started 3-0 in Horizon League play in each of the last three seasons.
The Phoenix bench has scored 40 or more points in four out of the last six games, giving Linc Darner the option to play multiple players throughout the game. Darner has played 11 players in two of four league games this year and the bench outscored the starting lineup against Milwaukee (44-36). Green Bay poured in 38 more points off the bench in its win over Northern Kentucky.
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