Green Bay Heads to Motor City for Game of the Week
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After a setback at Wright State snapped its three-game winning streak, Green Bay (6-8, 0-1 HL) looks to bounce back against one of the Horizon League's top teams on Saturday, playing at Detroit's Calihan Hall at 1 p.m. CT. Detroit (9-5, 1-0 HL), led by Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Ray McCallum, is 8-0 at home in 2012-13 and posted a 74-59 victory over Milwaukee to open conference play on Thursday. The Phoenix is looking for its first road win of the season.
Green Bay aims for a faster start on the offensive end after shooting 29.2 percent from the field in the first half in Thursday's 64-53 loss at Wright State. The Phoenix shot 43.5 percent in the second half but could not overcome a halftime deficit. Senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) came off the Phoenix bench to lead all scorers with 17 points in 19 minutes.
In Detroit's win over Milwaukee, the Titans trailed by a point at the break but used a 21-4 run after halftime to earn the win. The reigning Horizon League tournament champions put five players in double figures in the contest.
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: The game is the first Horizon League Game of the Week, and fans will be able to follow the action from Detroit by tuning into Time Warner Cable's Channel 310. The game was initially slated to be aired by Time Warner Cable's Sports32. Will Haskett (play-by-play) will be on the call alongside Joel Cornette (color analyst) for the television broadcast. The HLN Game of the Week broadcast will also be streamed live on the Horizon League Network and ESPN3.com.
The game will also be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM and online at thefan1075.com. The play-by-play voice of the Phoenix Matt Menzl will be on the call. Live stats will be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
1. INSIDE THE SERIES: Detroit holds a slight 22-20 edge in the all-time series with the Phoenix, including an 11-8 edge in Calihan Hall. Green Bay's last road win in the series was a 64-62 victory on Feb. 11, 2010.
2. LAST SEASON'S MEETINGS: Detroit swept two close meetings between the two teams in 2011-12, winning 80-73 in Green Bay and 77-74 in Calihan Hall. The Phoenix shot 49.1 percent from the field and 50 from long range in the two outings, but the Titans held a 24-point edge at the free-throw line. Alec Brown led the Phoenix in the meetings with 15 points per game.
3. POINT, COUNTERPOINT: Saturday's matchup will pit two of the Horizon League's top point guards. Detroit junior Ray McCallum is the conference's leading scorer, averaging 18.4 points per game while Green Bay sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) is fourth in the league at 16.2 points per game. McCallum also leads the league in assists and steals while Sykes is second in free-throw percentage and seventh in steals. Both players log a lot of minutes, ranking among the Horizon League leaders in minutes per game.
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay enters Horizon League play as the top free-throw shooting team in the Horizon League, and its 76.4 percent from the line is also tied for 10th nationally. The Phoenix is 233-305 on the season and has four players with 10 or more attempts shooting at least 85 percent for the season - Kam Cerroni (23-23), Daniel Turner (11-12), Brennan Cougill (31-35) and Keifer Sykes (70-81).
• STREAKIN' (FT) SHOOTERS: Three different Green Bay players carry streak of 16 or more made free throws into Saturday's game. Cerroni is 23-of-23 this season and has made 38 in a row dating back to Feb. 4, 2012. With his last miss coming on Nov. 17, Cougill has made 20 consecutive free throws. Sykes has made 16-straight at the charity stripe, including a 7-for-7 effort on Thursday.
• HANDLE THE ROCK: Since a forgettable opener in which he committed eight turnovers without an assist, Sykes has been terrific handling the ball. With 17 assists and just seven turnovers in the past three games, Sykes has now dished out 53 assists compared to just 25 turnovers in the past 13 games. In addition to ranking fourth in the conference in points, he is seventh in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6) and assists (3.8).
• SULTAN OF STROKE: Junior Sultan Muhammad (Grand Rapids, Mich.) had the best game of his young Phoenix career against Illinois-Springfield. The junior college transfer made his first five three-pointers, all in the first half, en route to scoring a career-high 21 points. After two more threes at Wright State, Muhammad ranks sixth in the Horizon League in three-point percentage at 42.9 percent (24-56) and is averaging 6.8 points per game off the Phoenix bench.
• POSITIVE REINFORCEMENTS: Green Bay has welcomed back three key pieces in the past two games. Junior Daniel Turner (McCordsville, Ind.) returned against Illinois-Springfield after missing the previous seven games with a torn MCL. Cougill returned against Wright State after serving a suspension for violating team rules. Sophomore Cole Stefan, a transfer from LaSalle, played for the first time at Green Bay on Thursday, logging 10 minutes.
• MAYS DAYS: Sophomore Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) has started the past five games and has been among the team's most consistent players. The 6-foot-9 Chicago native has scored between eight and 11 points in each outing and is averaging nine points, 4.8 rebounds and two blocked shots as a starter. Mays is also shooting 60 percent (18-30) during that stretch with six dunks.
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.
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