Marquette's First Visit to Green Bay Set for Wednesday

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: December 18, 2012
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Junior Alec Brown had 22 points and 14 rebounds against the Phoenix last season.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's basketball team welcomes Marquette to Green Bay for the first time in 12 all-time meetings between the two programs on Wednesday night, as the Phoenix continues a four-game homestand at the Resch Center with a 7:06 p.m. tip-off against the Golden Eagles. Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle knows the Golden Eagles well, having starred for Marquette from 1997-2001 and graduated from the university in 2001. 

In conjunction with the game, the first 4,000 fans will receive a Phoenix Swirler Flag presented by Nicolet National Bank. To purchase tickets for the game, please call 920.465.2625, visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center or the Resch Center box office, or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.

Marquette is 9-2 all-time against the Phoenix, with each of the first 11 meetings being played in Milwaukee. The programs did not meet from 1997-2009 before playing at the Bradley Center in each of the past two seasons. In last season's 79-61 Marquette victory, Green Bay's Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) had 22 points, 14 rebounds and five blocked shots.

Guards Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) and Vander Blue are leading their respective teams in scoring as Sykes leads the Phoenix averaging 16.4 points per game and Marquette's Blue is scoring at a 13.5 points per game clip.

FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans in the seats or those unable to attend Wednesday's game will be able to follow the action in numerous ways on Wednesday night. The game will be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM/1400 AM and online at thefan1075.com. The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Matt Menzl will be on the call with Cordero Barkley. Live stats and live video will be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter. Outside of the Green Bay market, the game will be televised live by Time Warner Cable Sports32 with Chris Roth (play-by-play) and Jeff Nordgaard (analyst) on the call.

THREE-POINT PLAY
1. ROLLING AT THE RESCH:
Sykes, whose 22-point effort against Southern Illinois led all scorers, has been incredible in Green Bay's three home games this season. Sykes has scored 74 points in a trio of games at the Resch Center. The Chicago native is shooting 50 percent from the field (20-40) and 88.9 percent (32-36) from the free-throw line at home.

2. FAMILIAR FOE: In his playing days at Marquette, Wardle put together one of the most consistent careers of any player in program history. Wardle is still the seventh-leading scorer in Marquette history with 1,690 career points. Suiting up from 1997-2001, Wardle led the team in scoring three times, and his career scoring average of 14.4 points per game is the fourth-best all-time among Marquette four-year players.

3. CHARITY CASE: Throughout the season, Green Bay has been solid not only getting to the free-throw line but converting its opportunities. The Phoenix has made 41 more free throws than its opponents and leads the Horizon League in free throws made (180) and free-throw percentage (76.9%). Having not missed this season (21-21), junior Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) leads the Horizon League in free-throw percentage and has a current streak of 36 consecutive free throws made.

PHOENIX NOTES
• INSIDE THE SERIES:
Green Bay and Marquette have met 11 times previously, with the Golden Eagles holding a 9-2 series edge. The first nine meetings between the two programs took place between 1982 and 1996, with Green Bay failing to score more than 50 points in any of the contests. Marquette won the meetings in the past two seasons 89-69 and 79-61. 

• HOME SWEET HOME: Despite dropping a close game last Saturday to Southern Illinois (72-70), Green Bay has been highly success at the Resch Center over the course of the past three seasons. The Phoenix is 24-7 since the start of 2010-11, and including the setback to SIU, Green Bay has lost only two non-conference home games during that stretch (11-2). Since the beginning of last season, the Phoenix is 14-3 at the Resch.

• HOME FREE: Led by Cerroni's perfection, the charity stripe has been kind to the Phoenix this season as the team is 16th nationally in free throw percentage. Green Bay has been especially efficient at the line at the Resch Center, shooting 82.4 percent (84-102) from the line and making twice as many free throws as its opponents (84-42). Cerroni is a perfect 12-of-12 from the stripe while Sykes has connected on 32-for-36 from the line at the Resch Center.

• 500 CLUB: Sykes will be playing his 41st game but is already just one point shy of 500 points. The sophomore's 499 points in 40 games give him a career average of 12.5 points per game.

• FAST START FOR THE FROSH: Wardle started a true freshman in the opener for the third-straight season, and freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) has made it look like a great decision through 10 games. The 6-foot-7 Fouse is averaging 5.2 points per game and leads the team in rebounds (7.1), steals (1.1) and blocks (1.1). He has led the team in rebounding in six times.

• TAKING ADVANTAGE: Despite foul trouble limiting him to only 17 minutes, sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) took advantage of making his first start on Saturday. The Chicagoan made all three of his field goal attempts and both of his free throws and added three rebounds and a pair of blocked shots. Mays is averaging just 14.6 minutes per game this season but has turned his minutes into 49 points, 31 rebounds and five blocked shots. Per 40 minutes, Mays is averaging 13.4 points and 8.5 rebounds per contest.

• SECOND CHANCES: Green Bay has hit the offensive glass extremely hard this season, grabbing 28 more offensive rebounds than its opponents. Led by Fouse's 23, Green Bay has four different players with 10 or more offensive rebounds (Brown-22, Cougill-20, Mays-14). The Phoenix corralled 11 at Wisconsin and 10 against Southern Illinois and has tallied 10 or more offensive rebounds in eight of 10 games this season. The offensive rebounds have turned into a 118-94 edge in second chance points.

OLD FOR 18: Sykes started his career at the age of 17 before turning 18 on Dec. 30, 2011. Sykes will play his last two games as an 18-year old this week against Marquette and South Dakota. Eighteen of his top accomplishments in 27 games as an 18-year old include:

  1. Scored 414 points (15.3 points per game)
  2. Dished out 112 assists (4.2 assists per game)
  3. Tallied double figures in points 24 times
  4. Totaled 20 or more times six different times
  5. Leads the Phoenix in scoring, assists and steals during the stretch
  6. Made game-winning free throw to beat Wright State on Jan. 14, 2012
  7. Scored in three different uniforms against Butler on national TV (Jan. 28, 2012)
  8. First career double-double against YSU on Feb. 14, 2012 (17 points, 10 assists, 0 TOs)
  9. Led all Horizon League freshman in points, assists and assist-to-TO ratio in 2011-12
  10. Made impressive homecoming in Chicago, scoring 27 points at UIC on Feb. 25, 2012
  11. Two-time Horizon League Player of the Week (Feb. 27, 2012; Nov. 12, 2012)
  12. Scored the most points by a Green Bay freshman since Tony Bennett
  13. Runner up for HL Newcomer of the Year and named to HL All-Newcomer Team
  14. Named Preseason All-Horizon League Second Team entering 2012-13
  15. Set career high with 31 points in 2012-13 opener against Chicago State
  16. Broke the program record for free throws made in a game with 17 FTs (Nov. 10, 2012)
  17. Averaging 24.7 points at home in 2012-13
  18. Ranks third in the conference in scoring this season at 16.4 points per game

TWEETABLE TIDBITS

  • Marquette vists Green Bay for the first time in 12 all-time meetings with @GBPhoenixMBB #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Including his first 21 this season, junior Kam Cerroni has made 36 consecutive free throws dating back to Feb. 4, 2012 #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Sophomore Keifer Sykes has scored in double figures in 9 of 10 games this year and 24 of his last 27 games #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • After playing 13 gms as a 17-year old, Sykes will play 29 gms at age 18. Thru 27 gms at the age, he's averaging 15.3 ppg #gophoenix
  • In three home games at the @ReschCenter, Sykes has scored 74 points (24.7 ppg) and made 32-of-36 free throws #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Seven different @GBPhoenixMBB players have scored in double figures at least one in 2012-13 #gophoenix #HLMBB
  • Freshman Jordan Fouse leads @GBPhoenixMBB in rebounds, blocks and steals and has led the team in boards 6 times #gophoenix #HLMBB

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Pick 5 packages and single-game tickets are on sale now 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.com/tickets.

For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.

Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix, @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin.

Like Green Bay Phoenix men's basketball and Green Bay Phoenix Athletics on Facebook.
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