Quick Turnaround Brings Phoenix to Detroit
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Continuing a stretch of seven games in 16 days, the Green Bay men's basketball team plays at Detroit on Sunday at 12 p.m. CT, just over 36 hours after dispatching Wright State on Friday night for its first road win of 2011-12. Now in seventh place, the Phoenix is just one game out of third place in the loss column in the Horizon League standings.
In Friday's 53-48 win at WSU, the Green Bay inside-outside combination of 7-foot-1 sophomore Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and 5-foot-10 Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) helped the Phoenix pull out the win in the second half. Brown had a second-straight double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds and Sykes scored 10 of his 13 points after halftime.
Brown continues to lead the Phoenix in scoring (13.9) after his 18th double-figure scoring game of the season. The sophomore also ranks second in the conference in rebounds (7.9) and blocked shots per game (3.0). Meanwhile, Sykes has reached double figures in nine of the last 10 games and is eight in the league in scoring in conference play at 12.7 points per game.
The last meeting between Green Bay and Detroit handed the Phoenix one of its two home losses in 2011-12. The Titans won 80-73 exactly one year ago from Sunday's win, with Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum scoring 16 points. Brown had 17 points points and nine rebounds to lead four Phoenix players in double figures.
The game will also be broadcast live on WDUZ The Fan with the pregame show beginning at 11:45 a.m. Matt Menzl and Andrew Gavin will be on the call for the radio broadcast. To listen live online, click here.
• INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay trails the all-time series with Detroit 20-22, with the Titans winning 10 of the 18 meetings in Detroit. The Phoenix won six games in a row beginning in 2008 before Detroit took three of the last four meetings.
• THE FIRST MEETING: In the first meeting on Jan. 12, Green Bay hit 7-of-14 three-pointers and got 17 points and nine rebounds from Brown, but Detroit benefitted from a 26-of-35 effort from the free throw line and 16 points from sophomore point guard Ray McCallum in an 80-73 victory.
• TOP THE CHARTS: Brown blocked two shots against Milwaukee to move into sole possession of Green Bay's all-time blocks record and now has 137. The 7-foot-1 Brown became the program's all-time leader in the category in just 54 career games. With his three blocks against Wright State on Friday, Brown now has 70 this season and broke his own single-season blocks record he set as a freshman in 2010-11.
• WINNING ON THE ROAD: Green Bay snapped a 13-game losing streak on the road with the 53-48 victory at Wright State on Friday night. The team was 0-11 away from home this season and had last won on Feb. 24, 2011 at Youngstown State. The win in the Nutter Center also marked the last time Green Bay won at Wright State since Jan. 5, 2005, when the Phoenix won by an eerily similar 53-46 margin.
• CAN I SEE SOME ID?: Sykes has an impressive stretch going since his 18th birthday, and the point guard continued that Friday by scoring 10 of his 13 points after hafltime against Wright State. The country's second-youngest player has averaged 14.7 points and 4.2 assists in 10 games since becoming eligible to vote on Dec. 30. He has scored in double figures in nine of the 10 contests, including 15 or more five times. Sykes ranks first among Horizon League freshman in points, assists and assist-to-turnover ratio and among the conference's 10 starting point guards, Sykes has the fewest turnovers (45).
• KAM CATCHIN' FIRE: Since being inserted into the starting lineup, Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) has consistently been providing the Phoenix with an outside scoring threat. In his 13 starts, Cerroni is averaging 10.9 points per game and shooting 49.3 percent (34-69) from long range. Against Milwaukee on Feb. 4, Cerroni scored 17 points on just four shot attempts, going 3-of-4 from long range and 7-of-8 from the charity stripe. He sank four free throws in the final 15 seconds to seal the win Friday at Wright State.
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