Green Bay to Battle at League-Leading Valpo Wednesday
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After sweeping a four-game homestand to vault up to third place in the Horizon League standings, Green Bay (10-9, 4-2 HL) heads to the road for four-straight games. The road trip begins at Valparaiso (15-5, 5-1 HL), the defending Horizon League champion, on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT. The Crusaders are sitting one game ahead of the Phoenix in a tie for first place.
Freshman Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) led the Phoenix in last week's victories over Youngstown State and Cleveland State, highlighted by his 17-point, 10-rebound effort against the Vikings on Saturday afternoon. The Phoenix won 77-50, the largest margin of victory by the Phoenix in a league game since a 78-49 win over Youngstown State on Feb. 5, 2005. Fouse was not alone as four Phoenix teammates reached double figures in the win (Sultan Muhammad-15, Alec Brown-14, Keifer Sykes-14, Brennan Cougill-11).
FOLLOW THE PHOENIX: Fans will be able to catch Wednesday night's Horizon League showdown at Valparaiso exclusively on ESPN3. Will Haskett will be on the call handling the play-by-play duties alongside color analyst Joel Cornette. To access the game on ESPN3, click here.
The game will also be carried live by WDUZ The Fan 107.5 FM/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 GreenBayPhoenix.com. You can also stay up-to-date by following @GBPhoenixMBB and @GBGavin on Twitter.
1. INSIDE THE SERIES: With wins in three of four games the past two seasons, Green Bay leads the all-time series with Valpo 26-16. The Crusaders hold an 11-9 edge in the ARC, but the Phoenix won 63-61 in Valpo exactly two years to the day of Wednesday night's game. Then a freshman, Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) had 15 points, six rebounds and three blocks in that victory.
2. IMPACT FRESHMAN: Fouse's impressive performances last week earned him his first honor from the Horizon League. The 6-foot-7 Fouse was named the Horizon League Newcomer of the Week on Monday after averaging 14.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. One of only three Green Bay players to start each game (Brown, Sykes), Fouse leads all Horizon League newcomers in rebounds (2nd), steals (3rd) and blocks (4th).
3. DEFENDING THE HOME COURT: Green Bay's 4-0 homestand was built on the strength of impressive defense. Mixing up man-to-man and zone defense, the Phoenix allowed just 50 points per game and 32.6 percent shooting in the four games and added 26 blocks and 29 steals. Getting a season-high six blocks from junior Alec Brown, Green Bay had 10 blocks in the win against Cleveland State, tying for the second-most in program history. Fouse tied a school record with seven steals against Loyola.
• LAST SEASON'S MEETINGS: Green Bay and Valpo split a pair of contests in 2011-12, with Valpo holding off a furious Green Bay charge (90-87) on Dec. 31 and the Phoenix winning 75-60 at the Resch Center on Jan. 26. In that win, Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) made five three-pointers and scored a career-high 23 points. In the two meetings, Cerroni went 8-of-13 from long range and averaged 17 points.
• BROWN VS. THE CRUSADERS: In four career games against Valparaiso, Brown has been consistently tremendous. The 7-foot-1 Brown has scored at least 15 points in each game and is averaging 18.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per contest. He is 26-of-51 (51 percent) from the field and 22-of-23 from the foul line in the games. Last year at the ARC, Brown went 8-of-15 from the field and totaled 21 points and 11 rebounds.
• LOOKING TO JOIN THE CLUB: On the strength of his 74 points against Valpo, Brown has 963 career points and is closing in on becoming the program's 25th member of the 1,000-point club. The last Phoenix player to join the 1,000-point club was Rahmon Fletcher, who also did so as a junior in 2009-10.
• RESERVE ROLES: Despite playing just three players off the bench, Green Bay got 31 points from its bench against Youngstown State. Freshman Carrington Love (Milwaukee, Wis.) made all three of his shots and 5-of-7 free throws en route to 11 points. Also off the pine, senior Brennan Cougill (Sioux City, Iowa) and Cerroni added 11 and nine points, respectively. The 31 points scored off the bench was the second most by the Phoenix this season and most in a Horizon League game.
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay is second in the Horizon League, and its 75.2 percent from the line ranks 20th nationally. The Phoenix is 321-427 on the season and, among teams ranked in the top-25 nationally in free-throw percentage, Green Bay has made the third-most free throws. Green Bay has made more free throws than any other Horizon League team, and on its recent four-game homestand the Phoenix made 30 more free throws than its opponents attempted.
• DOUBLE THE FUN: Against Cleveland State, Fouse (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Cougill (11 points, 10 rebounds) both had double-doubles to give the Phoenix six double-doubles this season. The game marked the fifth time in Green Bay's Division I history that two players had double-doubles in the same game, and the second time this season. Brown (17 points, 13 rebounds) and Cougill (17 points, 10 rebounds) against Southern Utah on Nov. 16. Remarkably, four of the occasions with two double-doubles have happened under Wardle.
Single-game tickets 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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