Men's Basketball Preview at UIC - February 21, 2017
CATCH THE ACTION: Tuesday, Feb. 21 - 7 p.m. CT // Chicago, Ill. (UIC Pavilion)
Matchup: Green Bay Phoenix (16-11, 10-5 HL) at UIC Flames (14-14, 7-8 HL)
Where to Watch: TV - N/A Online - ESPN3
Where to Follow: Live Stats - www.uicflames.com
Where to Listen: WNFL - 101.9 FM / 1440 AM
Game Notes: Green Bay | UIC
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixmbb
Green Bay has won nine-straight games against UIC and holds a 59-36 advantage in the all-time series. The Phoenix is 22-21 all-time in Chicago at the UIC Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT
Green Bay cruised to a convincing 80-56 win at Milwaukee on Saturday, picking up its sixth win in the last seven games against its in-state rival. Khalil Small and Warren Jones each scored 14 points to lead the way and the two combined to go 16-for-17 at the free throw line, where the Phoenix shot its highest percentage in any Horizon League game this season at 18-for-21 (85.7 percent). Kenneth Lowe and Charles Cooper added 10 points apiece and helped Green Bay to a 50 percent (30-for-60) shooting performance in the win. The Phoenix scored 52 points in the paint and received 37 points from its bench. The win kept Green Bay a game behind Oakland for second place in the league and now sits in a tie with Wright State for third. The 16-11 mark after 27 games played is the identical record Green Bay had last year at this point, and ironically, it came following a win over Milwaukee. Last year however, the Phoenix was 8-6 in league play, not the improved 10-5.
With the win over Milwaukee, Green Bay secured its sixth-straight season with a league record above .500. The team sits at 10-5 with three games to play and has now won 10 or more games in six-straight seasons dating back to 2011-12. The Phoenix has also finished in the top four in the league standings in each of the past four seasons and will look to make it five-straight this year with two more wins down the stretch. The win also assured Green Bay of a top six seed at Motor City Madness in Detroit, which means it will avoid playing in the opening round on Friday night and will only need three wins instead of four to capture the title.
Green Bay has enjoyed plenty of success against UIC in recent history, having now won nine-straight games against the Flames and 12 of the last 13 overall in the series. The Phoenix escaped with an 84-80 win earlier this season at home against UIC, thanks to Kenneth Lowe’s 16 points and Warren Jones’ four made 3s. The Flames had five players in double-figures, but it wasn’t enough as Green Bay made its last eight free throws in the closing minutes to earn the win. Green Bay has not lost in Chicago since January 2013 and has won three-straight games at the UIC Pavilion. Last season’s meeting came down to a pair of Turner Botz’ free throws with a few seconds left on the clock, before the Phoenix edged out the 78-76 win.
DOWN THE STRETCH SUCCESS
Over the last three seasons, Green Bay has finished the final four regular season games with a combined 10-2 record. The Phoenix has gone 3-1 in the last four games to conclude the season in the last two seasons and went 4-0 in 2013-14. Green Bay now has three games remaining in 2016-17 and already picked up a win at Milwaukee, getting off to a 1-0 start as it chases another strong finish.
In seven Horizon League games this year, the Phoenix has had four players score in double-figures and has gone 5-2 in those games. The Phoenix is 9-2 overall when four players get 10 or more points this season. Five players scored in double-figures for the Phoenix against Valparaiso, the fifth time this season GB has seen five players score 10 or more points. Green Bay is 2-0 in Horizon League games when that happens and 4-1 overall, with the only defeat coming against Marcus Keene and Central Michigan. Green Bay had four players reach double-figures in its last win at Milwaukee.
KENNETH LOWE KEY ON D
Senior Kenneth Lowe may be the most important person to Green Bay’s success this season, but doesn’t always get the praise as those putting up big scoring numbers. Lowe has now reached double-figures in four of his last seven games, after scoring in double-figures only twice in the previous 20 games. In league play alone, the athletic forward leads the Phoenix in steals (23) and blocks (19), while also leading the team in field goal percentage at 52.7 percent (49-for-93). Lowe is fourth in the league in steals (1.5 per game), third in blocks (1.3 per game) and ninth in offensive rebounds (2.2 per game). The senior also ranks fourth all-time in program history in blocks with 128, trailing Terry Evans for third all-time at 132 career blocks.
Green Bay has six seniors on the roster for 2016-17, the most in over 10 years. The six seniors, led by Charles Cooper’s 13.5 PPG, are combining to score 65 percent of the team’s points in league play. Warren Jones (10.7 PPG), Jamar Hurdle (8.5 PPG), Turner Botz (7.1 PPG), Kenneth Lowe (7.4 PPG) and Tevin Findlay (4.7 PPG) are all in their last year of eligibility in Green Bay, giving the Phoenix the most seniors on roster in the entire Horizon League. All six are averaging 17 MPG or more.
With Trevor Anderson missing the last seven games and OUT again against UIC, Warren Jones and Tevin Findlay have both been asked to step up and fill the void, and have both done so with a high level of success. Jones averaged 17.4 MPG with Anderson active for 19 games and has seen his minutes per game rise to 26.0 with him out for the last seven. Findlay’s minutes per game average has gone from 15.6 MPG to 19.3 MPG with him out. Kenneth Lowe has also seen his minutes per game rise, increasing from 19.8 MPG with Anderson and 25.7 MPG without. Anderson was injured during the Cleveland State game on Jan. 23 and has now missed seven-straight games after playing in only seven minutes against the Vikings.
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