Green Bay Returns Home, Hosts WSU on Thursday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After a season-long four game road trip, the Green Bay men's basketball returns home to the Resch Center for Horizon League games against Wright State (Thursday, 7 p.m.) and Detroit (1 p.m.). The Phoenix (12-11, 6-4 HL) will be looking for revenge against both teams, who combined to send Green Bay to a 0-2 Horizon League start in early January.
Since then, the Phoenix has won six of its eight games, including a 73-65 road win at Loyola last Saturday. Green Bay and Wright State (15-8, 6-4 HL) are tied for third place in the league standings.
Academic Achievement Night will also be held at the Resch Center as the athletics department will celebrate a 26th-straight semester with a cumulative grade point average above 3.0 while honoring student-athletes as well as UW-Green Bay's faculty and staff.
Against Loyola, junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) scored a career-high 25 points on 10-of-14 shooting. At one point, Brown made nine consecutive shots against the Ramblers. It was the second time in the last three games that Brown had set a career high, the first being a 23-point effort on Jan. 25 in a 74-54 win at Milwaukee on a night in which he joined the 1,000-point club. Brown's accomplishment as the 25th member of the 1,000-point club will be recognized before the opening tip.
Green Bay has won seven-straight games at the Resch Center but has not been at home since a 77-50 win over Cleveland State on Jan. 19. That 27-point victory was the largest margin of victory for the Phoenix in league play since Feb. 5, 2005 (78-49 over Youngstown State).
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: For fans unable to make it to the Resch Center on Thursdday night, the contest will be live on the Horizon League Network. The game will also be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM and online at thefan1075.com. For both the video and audio feeds, 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. THE FIRST MEETING: In the Horizon League opener for both teams, Wright State built a 17-point lead in Dayton on Jan. 3 and held off the Phoenix for a 64-53 victory. The Phoenix shot just 36.2 percent and was outrebounded by three. Senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) had 17 points for the Phoenix while point guard Reggie Arceneaux had 15 points and eight assists for Wright State.
2. ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE: At halftime of tonight's game, Phoenix student-athletes will be recognized for another impressive semester in the classroom. For the 26th-straight semester, student-athletes at UW-Green Bay combined for a grade point average above 3.0 (3.24). More than 70 percent of the student-athletes had a 3.0 GPA or higher.
3. DEFENDING THE HOME COURT: Green Bay carries a seven-game home winning streak into Thursday night's game. In that stretch, the Phoenix has not allowed more than 58 points and has held four opponents in the 40s. In the last seven games at the Resch Center, Green Bay foes are shooting just 33.4 percent and averaging 49.3 points per game. The Phoenix also has a plus-7.3 rebounding margin during the win streak.
• INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay holds a slight 24-23 edge in a historically close series with Wright State. The Phoenix has been strong at home in the series, winning 16 of 21 games in Green Bay. In last season's meeting at the Resch on Jan. 14, 2012, Brown blocked 11 shots and the Phoenix rallied from a 17-point halftime deficit to win 57-56.
• HOME SWEET HOME: Green Bay has been terrific at home this season and throughout the past three years. The Phoenix is 9-1 at the Resch Center in 2012-13, 21-3 in the past two years and 31-7 in three seasons under head coach Brian Wardle. This season at home, Sykes has led the Phoenix at 16.8 points and 5.1 assists per game. He is 60-for-75 from the foul line to lead Green Bay, which has made 104 more free throws than its opponents.
• DEFEND THE HORIZON: Green Bay sits in a tie for third place in the Horizon League standings through 10 games. The Phoenix is in position to fight for the conference title based on its defense and rebounding. Through 10 games, Green Bay leads the conference in scoring defense (60.0), field goal percentage defense (.379), rebounding margin (+6.1) and blocked shots (5.5).
• STILL ON GUARD: In Green Bay's six league wins, the Phoenix has not allowed more than 63 points and has a scoring defense of 53.2. The team's victory margin is 13.8 and it has made nearly twice as many free throws (102-52). Those five opponents are shooting just 35.9 percent from the field and are being outrebounded by 10.0 boards per game. In its four HL losses, Green Bay is allowing 70.2 points per game and 40.9 percent shooting. The Phoenix rebounding margin dips to just plus-0.3 and its opponents have made 38 more free throws.
• BROWN'S GRAND NIGHT: Brown sparked Green Bay's dominant second half on Jan. 25 at Milwaukee, scoring 15 of his 23 points. The 7-foot-1 big man surpassed the 1,000-career point mark in the process to become the 25th member of the program's 1,000-point club. On Jan. 28, Brown was recognized for his strong play against Valpo and Milwaukee when he was named Horizon League Player of the Week (20.5 points, 7.0 rebounds, 2.5 blocks per game).
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay is second in the Horizon League and its 74.9 percent from the line ranks tied for 20th nationally. The Phoenix is 375-501 on the season and also leads the Horizon League and ranks tied for 28th nationally in free throws made per game (16.3). Green Bay has made more free throws than any team ranked in the top-25 in free-throw percentage. Among Horizon League leaders, senior Brennan Cougill (.840, 42-50) and Sykes (.810, 98-121) rank sixth and ninth, respectively, in free-throw percentage.
Single-game tickets for all 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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