NOTEBOOK: Bench Proving to be a Real Strength for Phoenix

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Release: February 11, 2013
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Carrington Love (center) and the Phoenix bench have provided the Phoenix a huge lift.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)

GREEN BAY, Wis. ( - In Saturday's 68-59 Green Bay victory, Detroit's Ray McCallum scored 30 points, the most points scored by a Phoenix opponent since Feb. 11, 2008. McCallum's outburst was impressive, but it was also a positive for Green Bay, who allowed only two of his teammates to score after halftime and held all Titans not named McCallum to just 10-of-33 shooting for the game.

Only five Detroit players scored and only two reached double figures as the Phoenix defense allowed just 59 points, a season low for a Titans squad which ranked in the top-10 nationally in scoring (79.1).

The game highlighted Green Bay's depth, as eight Phoenix players scored and the hosts held a 25-2 advantage in bench points. Four Phoenix players reached double figures - sophomore Keifer Sykes (16), freshman Jordan Fouse (12) and juniors Kam Cerroni (11) and Alec Brown (10).

Cerroni became the fifth different reserve player to reach double figures in the past seven games by knocking down 3-of-4 three-pointers and a pair of free throws for 11 points. Sophomore Cole Stefan (Minnetonka, Minn.), averaging 10.7 points per game in the past three contests, scored all eight of his points in the second half.

The Phoenix reserves have scored at least 10 points in the past 10 games, including contributing 20 or more five times. In that stretch, senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) has reached double figures four times while Stefan (2 times), Cerroni (1), sophomore Greg Mays (1) and freshman Carrington Love (1) have each scored 10 or more off the bench.

Green Bay plays two road contests this week, visiting Cleveland State (Friday, 8 p.m.) and Youngstown State (Sunday, 1:05 p.m.). Friday night's contest against the Vikings will be televised live by ESPNU.

Team Notes

  • In Horizon League play, Green Bay leads in scoring defense (60.8), field goal percentage defense (.385), rebounding margin (+6.0) and blocked shots (5.8).
  • Green Bay leads the conference in free throws made (416) and is second in free-throw percentage (.747). The Phoenix ranks 27th nationally in free-throw percentage and is second among teams in the top-30 in free-throw percentage in free throws made. No. 1 Indiana is first with 482 free throws.  
  • The Phoenix has now held a rebound edge in 10 of 12 Horizon League games.
  • The 10 blocks against Wright State tied for the second most in program history. The record for blocks in a game came at home against Wright State last season, when Brown had 11 of the team's 14 rejections.
  • Five different players had a block in this season's contest, with Fouse and Cougill swatting three shots each.
  • With 118 team blocks, Green Bay has the third-most blocked shots in program history. The 2011-12 Phoenix broke the school record with 142 rejections and the 2010-11 squad blocked 119 shots.
  • Green Bay has won its past four games after suffering a loss. The Phoenix is 10-2 at home this season, and, in the games following losses, has defeated Marquette (49-47) and Detroit (68-59). Those two teams are a combined 33-14.  

Individual Notes

  • Sophomore Keifer Sykes averaged 16 points per game last week but only had three points in the first half. The sophomore overcame an ankle injury to score 11 points in the overtimes against Wright State before tallying 13 of his team-high 16 in the second half on Saturday.
  • Sykes ranks fifth in the Horizon League in scoring (14.8) and is tied for fourth in assists (4.2). The sophomore scored or assisted on 10 of the team's 13 second-half baskets against Detroit.
  • The sophomore has reached double figures in 22 of 25 games this season and 39 times in his career.
  • In 55 career games, Sykes has now accumulated 706 career points and 205 career assists.
  • Junior Alec Brown reached double figures twice last week and has now has 57 career double-figure scoring efforts.  
  • Brown now has 1,065 points, 578 rebounds and 198 blocks in his career.
  • The program's all-time leader in blocked shots is now fourth all-time on the Horizon League's all-time blocks ledger.
  • The 7-foot-1 Brown had made just 6-of-25 three-pointers in his first two seasons but has now connected on 15-of-39 this season (38.5 percent).
  • Brown played a career-high 46 minutes against Wright State and also played a team-high 36 minutes against Detroit.
  • Freshman Jordan Fouse broke Daniel Turner's Division I freshman record for rebounds in a season against Wright State. He now has 191 rebounds and is 19 shy of breaking Dennis Woeffler's overall freshman record of 209 set in 1969-70, the program's first season.
  • Fouse set a career high with 15 rebounds in his 46 minutes played against Wright State.
  • The 6-foot-7 Fouse leads all Horizon League newcomers in rebounds, blocks and steals and ranks second, third and tied for fourth, respectively in those categories. He also leads the Horizon League in offensive rebounding.
  • Fouse has grabbed 10 or more rebounds six times and has led the Phoenix in rebounding 15 times.
  • Sophomore Cole Stefan is averaging 10.7 points per game in the past three games, going 7-of-12 from long range.
  • Sophomore Greg Mays is shooting 54.7 percent from the field (52-95), including 60 percent in league play (24-40).
  • Junior Kam Cerroni has now made 36-of-37 free throws this season, shooting 97.3 percent. Cerroni has made all 11 free throws since seeing his school-record streak of 40-straight end on Jan. 12.
  • After knocking down three three-pointers on Saturday, Cerroni has connected on 97 career three-pointers.


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