Green Bay Looks to Finish Off Perfect Homestand
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Green Bay (10-3, 1-0 HL) aims to finish off a season-long five-game homestand on Saturday with a 5-0 record and a sixth-straight victory overall, hosting a Horizon League men’s basketball contest against visiting Youngstown State (9-7, 0-1 HL) at the Resch Center at 1 p.m.
Head coach Brian Wardle’s team began Horizon League play in winning fashion on Thursday night, rallying past Cleveland State for a 66-55 win. The preseason league favorites fell behind 29-23 at halftime, but stifling second-half defense sparked a comeback as CSU was held to just 10-of-30 from the field after intermission.
In Thursday’s win, three Phoenix players scored 15 or more points. Senior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) continued his solid stretch with 17 points, seven rebounds and five blocks while sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) and junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) added 15 points apiece.
Fouse, the catalyst of the Phoenix defense, added seven rebounds, five assists, three steals and a block to his season-high point total in the victory. The sophomore, who ranks fifth nationally in steals per game (2.8), made 7-of-8 shots from the field and his lone free throw attempt.
Youngstown State comes to Green Bay after falling 82-76 at Milwaukee on Thursday. Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kendrick Perry, who is second in the conference at 21.4 points per game, scored 31 points in the loss.
GREEN BAY PROBABLE STARTERS
G – #24 Keifer Sykes, G, Jr., 5-11, 175
G – #35 Vincent Garrett, G, Sr., 6-6, 220
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
HORIZON LEAGUE 3-GAME PACK: Green Bay is offering fans the chance to purchase a Horizon League 3-Game Pack. The 3-game pack begins at just $31 for adults and $19 for youth and allows Phoenix fans to attend any three 2013-14 league games of their choice. Green Bay welcomes each of its conference opponents to the Resch Center in January or February.
LIVE COVERAGE: For fans unable to attend Saturday afternoon’s game, the contest will be available on the Horizon League Network (live video) and on WNFL 1440 AM (radio) with Matt Menzl (play-by-play) and Cordero Barkley (analyst) on the call.
INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay holds a 26-8 advantage in the all-time series with Youngstown State, including a nearly perfect 16-1 mark at home. In 2012-13, the Phoenix swept the season series with a 67-58 win at home and a 71-54 win in Ohio. Sykes averaged 17 points per game against the Penguins while Fouse averaged 11 points and 9.5 rebounds.
SECOND-HALF SPURTS: During the Phoenix winning streak, the team has been exceptional on both ends of the court during the second half. In the five second halves, Green Bay boasts a scoring margin of plus-18.8 while shooting 58 percent (76-131) and holding its opponents to only 27.2 percent from the field (41-151).
BROWN’S BLOCKS: Leading the nation’s second-best shot-blocking team, Brown is having the best season of his career in terms of rejections and ranks ninth in the country. Averaging 3.6 per game, the 7-foot-1 senior has accumulated 47 blocks in 13 games in 2013-14 and is on pace to break his own school record of 89. With three more blocks, Brown will own each of the top-four spots on the program’s single-season blocks chart.
SENIOR SURGING: Brown has been exceptional during Green Bay’s five-game winning streak. In the five wins, Brown is averaging 20.4 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 blocks per game while shooting 57.6 percent from the field, 52.6 percent from long range and 82.8 percent from the free-throw line.
RECORD IN REACH: At the beginning of the season, the chances of Brown breaking Youngstown State’s Damian Eargle’s Horizon League record for career blocks would have seemed like a longshot, but due to his terrific start to the season the record is in reach. With 262 career blocks, Brown is now he is only 47 rejections shy of breaking Eargle’s record of 309, set last season.
MOVING ON UP: With 13 points and seven rebounds against St. Francis, Brown went over 1,400 points and 700 rebounds for his career. Brown now ranks 10th in Green Bay history in scoring (1,418 points) and fifth all-time in career rebounds (714). He is the lone player in Horizon League history to accumulate 1,400 points, 700 rebounds and 250 blocks.
TREMENDOUS TEENS: Sykes turned 20 years old on Monday after scoring 1,108 points in 76 career games as a teenager. The 5-foot-11 Chicago native ranks 22nd all-time on the program’s scoring list, has won a Phoenix record seven Horizon League Player of the Week awards and became the third-fastest player in Green Bay’s Division I era to reach 1,000 points.
DIALING LONG DISTANCE: Frequent questions were asked in the preseason about whether three-point shooting would be a Phoenix weakness. Entering Saturday, Green Bay ranks first in the Horizon League in three-point percentage (39.8%). Senior Vince Garrett leads the HL at 60.9 percent (13-21), Brown ranks fourth at 46.3 percent (19-41) and sophomore Carrington Love is 13th at 39.6 percent (19-48).
STREAKING SOPHOMORE: Fouse opened the 2013-14 season by extending two impressive statistical streaks. The reigning rebounding champion in the Horizon League has grabbed five or more boards in 32 consecutive games. At Eastern Michigan, the 6-foot-7 sophomore wing had a streak of blocking a shot end at 30.
TOUGH LOSSES: Green Bay has dropped three games this season, losing to Wisconsin (14-0), Harvard (12-1) and Eastern Michigan (7-5) teams that have combined for a 33-6 record to date. The Phoenix held a second-half lead against Harvard, and Green Bay is the only team in non-conference action to have been ahead of Wisconsin in the second half.
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.