Notebook: Green Bay Defending Its Home Court
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's basketball team is on a five-game winning streak on its home floor, and as the team's rate of offensive success has wavered somewhat at home, the team's defense has been a constant at the Resch Center. Starting with a historic 49-47 victory over Marquette, head coach Brian Wardle's team has allowed just 47.4 points per game during the 5-0 stretch.
Four of the five opponents have been held in the forties, with South Dakota as the exception in a 72-55 victory on Dec. 22. Last week, Green Bay evened its Horizon League record with wins over Loyola and UIC, holding the teams to just 45 and 47 points, respectively. This season marks the first time since the 2000-01 season that Green Bay has held four different opponents in the forties.
The Phoenix defense held Loyola to just 12 first-half points, a season low for an opponent in any half, and the Ramblers shot just 31.6 percent for the game. On Saturday against the Flames, UIC scored only 21 points after halftime as Green Bay rallied for a 53-47 win.
While opponents have shot just 33.8 percent combined during the winning streak, blocks and steals have also been a factor in the stifling defense. Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) tied a school-record with seven steals against Loyola and has 11 steals in the five games. Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) has added eight steals as that duo has combined for 43 steals on the season.
The all-time leader in blocked shots in Green Bay history, junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) has seen his blocks number decline somewhat this season as teams have keyed on keeping shots away from the Phoenix big man. However, the 7-foot-1 Brown has blocked four shots in each of the past two games to vault into a tie for second in the Horizon League in blocked shots per game (1.4).
Rebounding has also been important to the Phoenix defense. After allowing six offensive rebounds in the first half against UIC, Green Bay did not allow a second-chance opportunity after halftime. The Phoenix is outrebounding its opponents by 3.8 boards during its home winning streak.
The Phoenix will look to keep it going on Thursday, when it welcomes a high-octane offense in Youngstown State to the Resch Center for a 7 p.m. tip-pff. The Penguins rank second in the Horizon League in scoring offense at 71.7 points per game.
Single-game tickets 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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