GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Freshman Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) was tremendous Tuesday night in leading Green Bay to a 71-65 victory over Youngstown State. In tallying 17 points and 10 assists in 37 minutes without committing a turnover, Sykes became the first Green Bay player with 10 or more assists in nearly three years and the first player to reach double figures in assists without a turnover in more than five.
Sykes also combined with junior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) to do something that had never been done before in Green Bay history in the Division I era. The duo became the first Green Bay teammates to record double-doubles with both points and assists and points and rebounds in the same game since the program made the switch to Division I in 1981-82.
The performance for Sykes was just another statement in what has become a freshman campaign worthy of strong consideration for Horizon League Newcomer of the Year and all-conference honors. Sykes turned 18 on Dec. 30, and since becoming an adult has been playing at a level well beyond his experience.
In 12 games since his birthday, Sykes has reached double figures 11 times and is averaging 14.8 points per game. Even more remarkable have been the increase in assists and decrease in turnovers coinciding with the scoring. The point guard has averaged 4.7 assists and committed just 26 turnovers during that stretch. To boot, he is shooting 53.5 percent from the field.
Sykes is the only freshman ranked among the Horizon League's scoring and assist leaders. In league play, the Chicago native is highly ranked among all players. He ranks eighth in scoring (13.1 ppg), third in assists (4.1) and first in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.1-to-1) and is also the lone guard ranked among leaders in field goal percentage (52.3%).
- Green Bay improved to 10-2 at home this season and 55-15 at the Resch Center since 2007-08. The Phoenix is 20-6 at home under head coach Brian Wardle.
- Green Bay is now 7-2 at home this season in games decided by 10 points or less.
- Seventeen of the team's 25 games have been decided by 10 points or less.
- The Phoenix has won four of its last six games since losing at Youngstown State on Jan. 22.
- The win improved Green Bay to 24-7 all-time against YSU, including 15-1 in Green Bay.
- Green Bay had 19 assists, one shy of its season high of 20 set at Valparaiso.
- The Phoenix had five players make at least one three-pointer for the sixth time this season.
- With three blocks, Green Bay moved just five blocks shy of breaking its own team record for blocks in a season.
- Sykes and junior Brennan Cougill both recorded double-doubles against Youngstown State. It marked only the third time in the Division I era but second time under Brian Wardle that Green Bay had two double-doubles in the same game.
- It was also the first time in the Division I era that a points/assists double-double and a points/rebounds double-double occurred in the same game.
- Freshman Keifer Sykes recorded a career-high 10 assists.
- He became the first Green Bay player to get 10 assists in a game since Rahmon Fletcher had 10 assists against Vermont on March 18, 2009.
- Sykes is also the Green Bay player to get 10 assists in a Horizon League since Ryan Evanochko had 10 on Feb. 3, 2007.
- Junior Brennan Cougill recorded his third double-double of the season with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
- Cougill led the team in rebounding for the 10th time this season.
- He also tied his career high with five assists.
- Sophomore Alec Brown recorded his eighth consecutive double-figure scoring effort with 14 points and nine rebounds and has 10 points or more in 20 games this season and 38 in his career.
- Brown has recorded a block in 50 of 57 games in his career and 23 of 25 games this season.
- The sophomore has a school-record 74 blocks this season and 141 blocks in his career.
- Sophomore Kam Cerroni hit two three-pointers against Youngstown State, extending his streak of games with a three-pointer made to 14.
- Cerroni continues to lead the Horizon League in three-point percentage, shooting 46.2 percent (48-104).
- The sophomore is also second in the league in free-throw percentage in league play, hitting 32-of-37 for 86.5 percent.
- Senior Steve Baker has made 6-of-10 three-pointers in the past two games and now ranks third in the league in three-point percentage (.429, 30-70).
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