Sykes, Fouse Claim Horizon League Weekly Honors

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: February 18, 2013
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Keifer Sykes and Jordan Fouse helped the Phoenix to a weekend sweep.

By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The Green Bay men's basketball team swept its trip to Cleveland State and Youngstown State over the weekend, and sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) and freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) played an important part in the victories. On Monday, Sykes was named the Horizon League co-Player of the Week and Fouse was tabbed Newcomer of the Week.

The award was the third of the season for Sykes, who averaged 23.5 points per game on the trip, and the second time Fouse has earned the weekly award for top newcomer. Fouse averaged 8.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals on the week.

The way he played after halftime, Sykes probably could have sat out the first halves and still won the weekly award for the fourth time in his career. Sykes scored 19 points after halftime in both of his team's wins, leading a furious rally in a 66-59 win against Cleveland State on Friday before helping the Phoenix pull away from Youngstown State 71-54 on Sunday afternoon.

Scoring 23 and 24 points in the two contests, the 5-foot-11 sophomore made 13-of-23 shots from the field and 17-of-19 free throws. In the two second halves, he made 10-of-13 shots from the field and 15-of-16 free throws.

While the weekend magnified it, the second-half outbursts were nothing new for Sykes. Taking out a game at Loyola, when he logged just two second-half minutes due to injury, Sykes has averaged 12.6 points after halftime of the past eight games. For the season, Sykes is averaging 9.3 points per game after halftime and has reached double figures 10 times.

Sykes also won the league's weekly award on Nov. 13 and Dec. 24 this season. The Chicago native is fourth in the Horizon League in scoring at 15.5 points per game. He is shooting 44.8 percent (134-299) from the field, 46 percent from long range (23-50) and 80.9 percent (127-157) from the free throw line.

A model of consistency despite being a true freshman, Fouse had another week in which he stuffed the stat sheets. The 6-foot-7 wing made 4-of-7 shots from the field and 9-of-11 free throws in the two games. At Youngstown State, Fouse posted his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Fouse, one of three Phoenix players to start each game this season, is averaging 6.6 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. He ranks second in the Horizon League in rebounds per game and is first in offensive rebounding (2.4), third in steals (1.7) and fourth in blocked shots (1.5).

In league play, Fouse leads the conference in rebounding (8.4) and offensive rebounding (2.6) and is third in steals (2.0) and fourth in blocks (1.9). He has helped the Phoenix lead the conference in rebounding margin, scoring defense, field goal percentage defense and blocked shots in Horizon League play.

With three regular season games remaining, Fouse is four rebounds and six steals from breaking Green Bay's single-season freshman records in the categories. His 39 blocks are the second-most by a Phoenix freshman, behind only Alec Brown's 67 in 2010-11.

Winners of three-straight games overall and three-straight road games, Green Bay takes a break from Horizon League play on Saturday, traveling to Des Moines, Iowa for a BracketBuster contest against Drake of the Missouri Valley Conference.

Team Notes

  • The team's sweep of Cleveland State and Youngstown State was its first since the 2006-07 season.
  • The Phoenix has trailed in the second half in each of its past five victories.
  • After being second for much of the season, Green Bay now leads the conference in field goal percentage defense (.404) and rebounding margin (+4.8).
  • In conference play, Green Bay continues to lead the Horizon League in scoring defense (60.1), field goal percentage defense (.383), rebounding margin (+6.4) and blocked shots (6.0).
  • Green Bay has won three-straight road games and four of its past five games away from home.
  • Shooting 87.8 percent last week (36-41), Green Bay now ranks 14th nationally in free-throw percentage (75.6 percent).
  • Green Bay has made the second-most free throws (452) among teams ranked in the top-25 nationally in free-throw percentage.
  • The Phoenix blocked 15 shots last week and now has 133 rejections on the season. Green Bay needs 10 blocks to break the single-season program record of 142 set last season.
  • The top three totals for single-season team blocks have been the past three seasons (119 in 2010-11, 142 in 2011-12 and 133 in 2012-13).
  • After dropping its first two league games, Green Bay has won nine of its past 12 contests.
  • Green Bay has outrebounded 12 of its 14 Horizon League opponents.

Individual Notes

  • Sykes has averaged 19.8 points per game in the past four contests, scoring 62 of his 79 points after halftime.
  • Sykes has scored or assisted on 26 of Green Bay's 40 second-half field goals in past three games.
  • The sophomore has reached double figures in 24 of 27 games this season and 41 times in his career.
  • In 57 career games, Sykes has now accumulated 753 career points and 212 career assists.
  • Sykes is shooting 23-of-50 from long range, up 23 percent from his freshman season.
  • Shooting 80.9 percent from the free-throw line, Sykes has raised his free-throw percentage 14.2 percent from a year ago. He went 17-of-19 from the line last week, including 15-of-16 in the second half.
  • Junior Alec Brown reached double figures twice last week and has now has 59 career double-figure scoring efforts, including five in a row.  
  • Brown now has 1,098 points, 587 rebounds and 207 blocks in his career.
  • The program's all-time leader in blocked shots is now third all-time on the Horizon League's all-time blocks ledger.
  • Brown has 51 blocks this season and now has the top-three single-season block totals in program history (67 in 2010-11, 89 in 2011-12 and 51 in 2012-13).
  • he 7-foot-1 Brown had made just 6-of-25 three-pointers in his first two seasons but has now connected on 17-of-44 this season (38.6 percent).
  • Freshman Jordan Fouse broke Daniel Turner's Division I freshman record for rebounds in a season on Feb. 7. He now has 206 rebounds and is four shy of breaking Dennis Woeffler's overall freshman record of 209 set in 1969-70, the program's first season.
  • Fouse is also six steals shy of breaking the program's freshman record for steals in a season. Only Terry Evans (50) and Tony Bennett (49) have had more steals as freshmen.
  • Fouse has grabbed 10 or more rebounds seven times and has led the Phoenix in rebounding 16 times.
  • Sophomore Greg Mays had his second career double-double against Cleveland State (10 points, 10 rebounds).
  • In league play, Mays is averaging 7.5 points and is ninth in the conference in rebounding (5.7). He is shooting 57.4 percent (31-54) in conference games.

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