Green Bay Breaks from League Play, Hosts EMU Saturday

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Release: February 17, 2012
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Freshman Keifer Sykes has scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)

GREEN BAY, Wis. ( - Green Bay will take a break from Horizon League play Saturday and welcome Eastern Michigan of the Mid-American Conference to the Resch Center at 1 p.m. as part of the Sears BracketBusters series. The game will begin a stretch of four games in eight days for the Phoenix to end the regular season.

The contest will be a Festival Foods Family Game at the Resch Center, with discounted tickets and concessions available and Free Throws with the Phoenix after the game. The first 750 fans will also get a Green Bay Way street sign courtesy of S&L Motors.

Horizon League contests at home against Cleveland State and at Loyola and UIC will follow Saturday's game and will determine Green Bay's seeding for the conference tournament.

At 10-2, the Phoenix is in the midst of one of its best seasons ever at the Resch Center. Head coach Brian Wardle has led Green Bay to a 20-6 record at home in his two seasons at the helm.

Green Bay won at home on Tuesday to kick off a three-game homestand, defeating Youngstown State 71-65. Juniors Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) and Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) posted historic double-doubles in the win, becoming the first set of Phoenix teammates to have a points/assists double-double and a points/rebounds double-double in the same game since Green Bay went Division I in 1981-82.

Like Green Bay, Eastern Michigan played a challenging non-conference schedule. The Eagles play a slow tempo controlled by three senior guards in the starting lineup. Darrell Lampley averaged 13 points per games to lead Rob Murphy's first EMU team.   

• INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay leads the all-time series with Eastern Michigan 5-4. The last meeting between the two teams was also at the Resch Center, with the Phoenix posting a 73-69 win on Dec. 14, 2005. Green Bay has lost a game in the series scoring 99 points (109-99, 1-26-71) and won a game scoring 44 points (44-42, 12-5-80).

• IN THE BRACKETBUSTERS: Green Bay has a 3-5 record in eight previous BracketBusters contests. The Phoenix last two games in the inaugural event have been decided by just one point, including a 60-59 home win over Indiana State on Feb. 20, 2010 and a 61-60 last-second loss at Southern Illinois on Feb. 19, 2011.

• HOME SWEET HOME: Green Bay is 10-2 at the Resch Center with two home games remaining this season. The Phoenix has outscored opponents by 7.6 points a game and has hit 40 percent from long range at home (70-175). Brown leads the team in scoring at home (14.9) while Kam Cerroni (26-51) and Steve Baker (17-33) have hit a combined 43 three-pointers at the Resch Center. 

• HISTORIC DOUBLE-DOUBLES: Sykes and Cougill did something in Tuesday's win over Youngstown State that had never been done in Green Bay's Division I history. Sykes (17 points/10 assists) and Cougill (17 points/11 rebounds) are the first teammates to have a points/assists double-double and a points/rebounds double-double in the same game since Green Bay went Division I in 1981-82.

• CAN I SEE SOME ID?: Sykes has an impressive stretch going since his 18th birthday, averaging 14.8 points and 4.8 assists per game in 12 games since Dec. 30. Since becoming eligible to vote, the country's second-youngest player scored in double figures in 11 of 12 games.

• KAM CATCHIN' FIRE: Since being inserted into the starting lineup, Cerroni has consistently provided the Phoenix with an outside scoring threat. In his 15 starts, Cerroni is averaging 10.8 points per game and shooting 48.8 percent (40-82) from long range. The Horizon League leader in three-point percentage (46.2%) has made a triple in 14-straight games and 18 of the past 19 contests.

• TOP THE CHARTS: Sophomore Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) has broken the program's single-game, single-season and career blocked shots records this season. The 7-foot-1 Brown has 74 blocks this season and 141 for his career, and has a block in 50 of 57 career games.  He became the program's all-time leader in the category in just 54 career games.

• SWAT TEAM: Led by Brown's record-breaking season, Green Bay has tallied 115 blocks this season and needs just five blocks to break the program's record of 119 set in 2010-11. This season is the fourth time that a Phoenix team has blocked at least 100 shots (1991-92, 1997-98). Eleven different players have blocked a shot this season, with junior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) and freshman Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) helping Brown the most with 19 and nine blocks, respectively.


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