Green Bay Hosts Valpo for Senior Day, Important Finale
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - On Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., the Green Bay men's basketball team will host Senior Day at the Resch Center, honoring the team's lone senior, Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa). The first 1,000 fans in attendance for the contest will receive a bobblehead of Cougill, who will be honored in a pregame ceremony. The Phoenix (16-13, 10-5 HL) will host Valparaiso (23-7, 12-3 HL) at 2 p.m. in a nationally televised contest on ESPNU.
Tickets for the game start at just $7 for youth fans and $8 for adults. After the game, the team will be on the court to sign autographs and shoot Free Throws with the Phoenix.
When the Horizon League tabbed Green Bay and Valparaiso to play in the regular season finale for both teams, the expectation was that the matchup would not only include two of the league's best teams but would also mean something.
Saturday's game fits the bill. Valparaiso, who clinched a share of the league title on Tuesday night, is aiming to win the title outright. Green Bay, winners of four-straight league games, looks to close its home slate at 12-2 on the year and keep the valuable No. 3 seed in next week's Horizon League Championship.
The Phoenix positioned itself for the third seed with a 78-61 win over Milwaukee on Tuesday night, using a 15-1 second-half run to put the Panthers away. Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) put his entire arsenal on display, draining four three-pointers as part of a career-high 28 point night. Four Preseason All-Horizon League selections will be on the court on Saturday, with Green Bay's Brown and Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) and Valparaiso's Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans unable to make it to the Resch Center on Saturday afternoon will be able to watch the nationally televised game on ESPNU. Jim Barbar will be on the call as the play-by-play announcer while Bob Valvano will be the analyst.
The contest against the Crusaders will also be carried on 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. INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay leads the all-time series with Valparaiso 29-17, including a 16-4 mark in Titletown. The Phoenix has won each of the past two seasons at the Resch Center against the Crusaders. In the first meeting of this year, it was a one-possession game with just two minutes to play before the Crusaders won 73-61. Brown had 18 points to lead the Phoenix.
2. COOOOOOGS: Green Bay is honoring its lone senior before today's game, Brennan Cougill. The Sioux City, Iowa native transferred to Green Bay before the 2011-12 season after one-year stops at Iowa and Kirkwood Community College. In 55 career games in a Phoenix uniform, Cougill has totaled 515 points, 350 rebounds, 102 assists and 41 blocks. This season, Cougill is averaging 9.6 points and 5.6 rebounds.
3. HOME SWEET HOME: The Phoenix is 11-2 at the Resch Center in 2012-13, including 6-1 in Horizon League play. In the past three seasons under head coach Brian Wardle, Green Bay has a 33-8 record in 41 home games. Sykes is averaging 16.8 points and 5.2 assists per game in 13 home games this season, going 79-of-99 from the line. Green Bay is allowing just 56.4 points per game and holding opponents to just 36.8 percent shooting. Led by Sykes, the Phoenix has made 123 more free throws at home than its opponents (251-128).
• BROWN VS. THE CRUSADERS: In five career games against Valparaiso, Brown has been consistently tremendous. The 7-foot-1 Brown has scored at least 15 points in each game and is averaging 18.4 points and 8.6 rebounds per contest. He is 32-of-64 (50 percent) from the field and 27-of-29 from the foul line in the games. In the first meeting this season, Brown had 18 points and six rebounds.
• SHINING STARS: In Green Bay's current four-game winning streak, its All-Horizon League candidates have shined. In wins over Detroit, Cleveland State, Youngstown State and Milwaukee, sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) has averaged 20.3 points while Brown has chipped in 17.8 points. Sykes is fourth in the conference in scoring (15.4) overall while in league play, Brown ranks fifth (15.7).
• COMEBACK TIME: Green Bay has shown the ability to come back and handle adversity throughout the season. Most recently, the Phoenix has overcome a second-half deficit in five of its past six victories. The team has won its last five games following a loss, and ended a season-long four-game losing streak by defeating Marquette 49-47 on Dec. 19.
• SECOND-HALF SYKES: Sykes, one of just two Horizon League players to be named Player of the Week at least three times this season, has excelled in the clutch. In four-straight Horizon League wins over Detroit, Cleveland State, YSU and Milwaukee, he has scored 62 of his 81 points in the second half, averaging 15.5 second half points. For the season, Sykes averages 9.2 points per game after halftime.
• BROWN'S BLOCK PARTY: Brown has blocked 42 shots in Horizon League play to become the fourth player in league history with more than 200 career rejections. The 7-foot-1 Brown is third in Horizon League history in blocks with 211, behind only YSU's Damian Eargle (293) and Dan Godfread (226) from Evansville. Brown's 55 blocks this season are the third-most all-time, behind only his totals as a sophomore (89) and a freshman (67). Brown is one of only three players in Horizon League history with at least 1,000 points, 500 rebounds and 200 career blocks.
• REJECTIONS REGISTERED: With Brown (55), freshman Jordan Fouse (42), sophomore Greg Mays (17) and Cougill (15) all in double figures in blocks, the Phoenix has now swatted 142 shots on the season, tying the single-season school record. The past three seasons are the top-three single-season totals in program history, with 119 in 2010-11 and 142 the past two seasons. In league play, Green Bay has 89 blocks, just five shy of the conference record of 94 set by the Phoenix last season.
Tickets for Saturday's game 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, visit the Resch Center box office or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.
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