Green Bay Aims for Fifth-Straight Home Win on Saturday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Three days after an impressive defensive performance in a 58-45 win over Loyola on Wednesday, Green Bay (7-9, 1-2 HL) will aim to run its home winning streak to five games and even its Horizon League record when the Phoenix hosts UIC (10-6, 1-2 HL) on Saturday at 3 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. but was moved as part of the Back-to-Back-to-Pack promotions.
In the win over Loyola, the Phoenix never trailed and held the Ramblers to just 19.2 percent shooting in the first half, building a 28-12 halftime lead en route to the wire-to-wire victory. Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) led the Phoenix with 13 points, 11 rebounds and a program-record tying seven steals.
In UIC, Green Bay welcomes a program to the Resch Center that it has faced more than any other in its history. Today will mark the 85th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and the Flames, and Green Bay leads the series 49-35. The Phoenix swept the season series in 2011-12, scoring 71 points twice, and has eight in a row at home against the Flames.
Green Bay has won four of its past six games while UIC enters having slowed down after a quick start. The Flames have lost five of their last six games after a 9-1 start. UIC has four players averaging in double figures, led by Gary Talton's 13.3 points per game.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: For fans unable to make it to the Resch Center on Saturday, the contest will be streamed live on the Horizon League Network.
The game will also be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 1400 AM and online at thefan1075.com. The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Matt Menzl will be on the call alongside Cordero Barkley. Live stats will be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
1. WINDY CITY WINNING: In the past two seasons, Green Bay has experienced success against teams from Chicago. Led by Chicago native Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.), the Phoenix is 6-0 against Loyola (3-0), UIC (2-0) and Chicago State (1-0). Sykes scored a season-high 27 points at UIC in the teams' last meeting on Feb. 25, and the sophomore is averaging 15.3 points and 4.7 assists per game in the six games against his hometown schools.
2. STEALING THE SHOW: Fouse had the best game of his young career on Wednesday night, not only recording his first double-double (13 points, 11 rebounds) but also tying the program record for steals in a game with seven. Fouse tied the record held by Benito Flores, who had seven steals twice in 2004-05.
3. DEFENDING THE HOME COURT: Green Bay has won four-straight games at the Resch Center on the strength of stifling defense. The Phoenix has not allowed more than 55 points and has held three opponents in the 40s during the stretch. In the last four games at the Resch Center, Green Bay foes are shooting just 33.8 percent and averaging 47.5 points per game.
• LAST SEASON'S MEETINGS: Green Bay scored 71 points twice in sweeping a pair of games against UIC that were the bookends of the Horizon League schedules for both teams in 2011-12. The Phoenix won by three points at home in the league opener before closing the year with a 71-63 victory in Chicago. Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) and Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) averaged 14.5 points per game against the Flames while UIC was led by Daniel Barnes (13.0 ppg). UIC's leading scorer Gary Talton was held to just four points on 2-of-14 shooting in the last meeting.
• HOME SWEET HOME: Green Bay is 6-1 at home this season after four consecutive victories. In the past three seasons under head coach Brian Wardle, the Phoenix is 28-7 at the Resch Center, including an 18-3 mark since the start of the 2011-12 season. Sykes is averaging 19.6 points and 5.3 assists per game and is 52-of-64 from the free-throw line at home this season.
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay is among the top free-throw shooting teams in the Horizon League, and its 75.3 percent from the line ranks 20th nationally. The Phoenix is 256-340 on the season and has four players with 10 or more attempts shooting at least 80 percent for the season - Kam Cerroni (25-25), Daniel Turner (11-12), Brennan Cougill (31-36) and Keifer Sykes (78-95).
• RECORD STREAK: With two free throws against Detroit, Cerroni broke the program's record for consecutive free throws made. Cerroni has now connected on 40-straight free throws, breaking a record of 38 held by Matt Rohde (2002-03). Cerroni is 25-of-25 from the line in 2012-13 and his last miss came on Feb. 4, 2012 against Milwaukee.
• HANDLE THE ROCK: Since a forgettable opener in which he committed eight turnovers without an assist, Sykes has been terrific handling the ball. With an assist-to-turnover ratio better than 2-to-1, Sykes has 65 assists compared to just 31 turnovers in the past 15 games. In addition to ranking fourth in the conference in points, he is sixth in assists (4.1) and seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7).
• KAM CATCHING FIRE: Cerroni led the Horizon League in three-point percentage as a sophomore in 2011-12 but struggled early this season from long range. However, Cerroni is starting to catch fire. He drained all three of his attempts from beyond the arc against Loyola, and since Dec. 12 at Wisconsin, Cerroni is shooting 50 percent (13-26) from three.
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.xom/tickets.
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