League-Leading Green Bay Visits Youngstown State Thursday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Green Bay (19-5, 9-2 HL) begins a season-ending stretch of four out of five games away from home on Thursday night, visiting Youngstown State (13-12, 4-6 HL) at the Beeghly Center at 6:05 p.m. central time.
Despite coming off a 73-63 loss against Milwaukee last Saturday, the Phoenix sits in first place alone atop the Horizon League standings, one game clear of Cleveland State.
The Phoenix and Youngstown State battled at the Resch Center on Jan. 4, with Green Bay shooting 66.7 percent after halftime and pulling away for an 85-69 victory. Junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) just missed a triple-double against the Penguins with 24 points, nine assists and eight rebounds while senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) also reached 20 points.
Green Bay has a 5-2 record on the road in 2013-14 and has won six of its past seven Horizon League road games dating back to 2012-13. Sykes (21.3) and Brown (20.3) have combined to average 41.6 points per game on the road this season.
GREEN BAY PROBABLE STARTERS
G – #24 Keifer Sykes, G, Jr., 5-11, 175
G – #12 Carrington Love, G, So., 6-1, 171
F – #4 Jordan Fouse, F, So., 6-7, 225
F – #15 Greg Mays, F, Jr., 6-9, 222
C – #21 Alec Brown, C, Sr., 7-1, 235
LIVE COVERAGE: Thursday night’s game will be televised live by Time Warner Cable SportsChannel with Todd Bell (play-by-play) and Andrew Gavin (analyst) on the call. The broadcast is also available on WatchESPN/ESPN3. On WNFL 1440 AM, Matt Menzl will bring fans a radio broadcast of the action.
INSIDE THE SERIES: With three-straight wins against the Penguins, Green Bay now holds a 27-8 all-time record in the series. The Phoenix has a 6-2 record under head coach Brian Wardle against YSU, with the only two losses coming at the Beeghly Center in 2011-12. Last season in Youngstown, Sykes scored 24 points and Green Bay won 71-54.
FIRST MEETING: Youngstown State led 23-13 early in the opening half, but Green Bay responded to lead 40-38 at halftime and dominated after intermission. In the second half, the Phoenix made 22-of-33 shots and Sykes scored 13 points and dished out eight assists. Green Bay held Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kendrick Perry to 13 points.
SYKES SET APART: Ranking 17th nationally in points per game, Sykes is the only player in the country averaging 20-plus points (20.7), five-plus assists (5.1) and four-plus rebounds per game (4.3). The junior has scored 15 or more points in 13-straight games including every Horizon League contest.
BLOCK PARTY: With 11 blocks against UIC, Green Bay broke the single-season program record for the fourth consecutive season. The Phoenix has 178 blocks this season, just five shy of the Horizon League record of 182 set last season by Youngstown State. Of the top-14 single-game block efforts in Green Bay history, 13 have occurred during Brown’s four years in the program. Brown has 288 career blocks, just 22 shy of the conference record.
CHARITY WORK: As a sophomore, Sykes broke the Phoenix program record for free throws made in a season (159). After knocking down 10 or more in three of the past five games, Sykes has made 146 free throws in 2013-14, good for third-most by a Phoenix player and second-most in the Division I era. The Horizon League’s top scorer leads the conference and is 13th nationally in free throws made.
MOVING ON UP: Brown now ranks eighth in Green Bay history in scoring (1,577 points). Sykes has scored 1,371 career points in 88 games and needs 21 points to pass Ray Willis into 11th place in program history.
RECORDS IN REACH: Brown will be chasing a couple of records as his senior season continues. With 288 career blocks, Brown needs 22 more to break the Horizon League record of 309 set last season by Youngstown State’s Damian Eargle. The 7-foot-1 senior also needs just three more rebounds to break the Green Bay Division I record of 766 set by Terry Evans.
BROWN’S BLOCKS: Brown is having the best season of his career, which includes blocks. Averaging 3.3 per game, the 7-foot-1 senior is 11th nationally. With 73 blocks in 2013-14, Brown is on pace to break his own school record of 89, set in 2011-12. Brown now owns each of the top-four spots on the program’s single-season blocks chart (59, 67, 73, 89).
A LEAGUE OF HIS OWN: Brown is in the midst of the most impressive season and most impressive stretch of his standout career. The 7-foot-1 center is posting career-high numbers in points, field goal percentage and blocked shots. Against Detroit on Jan. 26, Brown became the only player in program or Horizon League history to tally 1,500-plus points (1577), 750 rebounds (764) and 250 blocked shots (288).
A-MAYS-ING: Junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) continues the best season of his Phoenix career. The Chicago native is averaging career highs in points (10.3), rebounds (5.3), blocks (1.1) and field goal percentage (.576). Against Wright State, Mays made 9-of-10 shots from the field and scored 22 points. He also posted his career high in the historic win over Virginia, scoring 24 points.
All tickets for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season are on sale now. For more information about season tickets, ticket packages and more, please visit the ticketing page at GreenBayPhoenix.com.For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.