Green Bay Plays at Youngstown State on Sunday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The final Horizon League road contest brings Green Bay to the Beeghly Center, where the Phoenix will look to replace memories of two losses to Youngstown State a season ago. Including Friday night's 66-59 win at Cleveland State paced by 23 points from Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.), Green Bay is vastly improved of late on the road. After dropping its first nine away games, the Phoenix has won three of its past four on the road. Green Bay is 8-3 overall in its past 11 games and in position to secure a bye in the Horizon League tourney.
Both teams enter Sunday afternoon after wins on Friday night, with YSU posting a 94-80 home victory over Milwaukee. Junior Kendrick Perry scored a game-high 28 points in the Penguin win. Green Bay lost 77-47 and 77-60 at the Beeghly Center last season, but posted a 67-58 victory over the Penguins on Jan. 17 of this season. In that contest, freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) led four Phoenix players in double figures with 12 points while adding nine rebounds.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans will be able to catch Sunday's afternoon's game live on ESPN3. Will Haskett will handle the play-by-play duties with Bernie Fuhs alongside as the color analyst.
The game will also be carried live by 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 Andrew Gavin. Live stats will be available on YSUSports.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
1. INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay leads the series with Youngstown State 25-8, but the Penguins have a slight 6-7 edge in the Beeghly Center. In the past three seasons, Green Bay has won four of the six meetings with a 3-0 mark at the Resch Center and a 1-2 record in Youngstown. The last nine meetings between the two teams have been decided by at least six points, with six games featuring a double-figure winner.
2. CLUTCH CHICAGOAN: Including scoring 19 of his game-high 23 points after halftime on Friday night, Sykes has scored 32 points in the second half of Green Bay's last two games. The Phoenix rallied from deficits to win both games, and Sykes scored or assisted on 19 of the team's combined 26 second-half field goals. Taking out the game at Loyola, when Sykes played just two second-half minutes, he is averaging 11.7 points after halftime in the past seven games.
3. BLOCK PARTY: Junior Alec Brown blocked five shots on Friday night to move past 200 career rejections. The 7-foot-1 Brown is tied for third in Horizon League in blocks, behind only YSU's Damian Eargle (289) and Dan Godfread (226) from Evansville. With Brown (47), Fouse (38), Mays (17) and Cougill (11) all in double figures in blocks, the Phoenix has now swatted 126 shots on the season. That total is the second-most all-time, behind only last season's 142.
• REBOUNDING ROOKIE: Fouse has proven himself to be one of the best rebounders and defenders in the Horizon League. The 6-foot-7 forward is second in the conference in rebounds per game (7.5) and third in steals (1.5) and tied for third in blocks per game (1.5). Fouse leads the Horizon League in conference play in rebounds (8.2) and offensive rebounds per game (2.7). Fouse has now grabbed more rebounds (196) than any freshman in the program's Division I history. He is on pace to break the 44-year old freshman record, set by Dennis Woeffler (209) in the program's first season, 1969-70.
• GLASS CLEANERS: Led by Fouse, Green Bay is the top rebounding team in Horizon League action with a rebounding margin of plus-5.8. With three players (Fouse, Brown, Cougill) in the top-eight in the conference overall in rebounding, the Phoenix is second for the season in rebounding margin (+4.4), behind only Valparaiso (+4.5). In league play, sophomore Greg Mays is 10th in the conference in rebounding at 5.7 boards per game.
• COMEBACK TIME: Green Bay downed Detroit and Cleveland State despite trailing at the half, outscoring the Vikings 39-19 in the final 19 minutes. The Phoenix held the Titans and the Vikings to 26 and 23 second-half points, respectively in the contests. Green Bay was 1-9 when down at the break prior to the two games.
• DEFEND THE HORIZON: The Phoenix has been among the league's best defensive teams in league play. Through 13 games, Green Bay leads in scoring defense (60.6), field goal percentage defense (.387), rebounding margin (+5.8) and blocked shots (5.9).
• STILL ON GUARD: In Green Bay's eight league wins, the Phoenix has not allowed more than 63 points and has a scoring defense of 54.6. The team's victory margin is 12.4 and it has made nearly twice as many free throws (138-70). Those eight opponents are shooting just 37.3 percent from the field and are being outrebounded by 8.5 boards per game. In its five HL losses, Green Bay is allowing 70.2 points per game and 41.0 percent shooting. The Phoenix rebounding margin dips to just plus-1.4 and its opponents have made 20 more free throws.
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay leads the conference in free throws made (435) and is second in free-throw percentage (.753). 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. Among Horizon League leaders, Cougill (.840, 42-50) ranks seventh overall while Brown is shooting 79.4 percent in Horizon League play. Sykes has made the third-most free throws in the league (110-138, 79.7 percent).
Single-game tickets for Phoenix home games 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 or access GreenBayPhoenix.com/tickets.
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