By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com)
- Playing its Horizon League home opener at the Resch Center, the Green Bay men's
basketball team kicks off a four-game homestand against Loyola on Wednesday at
7 p.m. as it looks to build momentum after a tough road trip to open Horizon
The Phoenix dropped contests at Wright State and Detroit,
the only two teams that opened league play with two wins. The Phoenix continued
its good defense at Detroit by holding the Titans to just 37.5 percent shooting
but were the victims of 42 Detroit free throw attempts.
In the Ramblers, Green Bay
welcomes a surprise team but one that is coming off a disappointing home loss
to Youngstown State on Saturday. Loyola is led by senior Ben Averkamp, a
Wisconsin native who leads the team in scoring (15.9) and rebounding (6.6).
Sophomore Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) leads the Phoenix and is second in the
Horizon League in points per game (16.5). Junior Alec Brown (Winona, Minn.) had tremendous success in two wins
against the Ramblers last season, averaging 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4.5
blocks per game.
PHOENIX: For fans unable to make it to the Resch Center on Wednesday night,
the contest will be televised live on Time Warner Cable's Sports32. Chris Roth
(play-by-play) will be on the call alongside Phoenix Hall of Famer Jeff
Nordgaard (color analyst) for the broadcast, which will also be streamed live
on the Horizon League Network.
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
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. INSIDE THE
SERIES: Wednesday will mark the 40th meeting all-time between Loyola and
Green Bay, with the Phoenix holding a 24-15 advantage in the series. Green Bay
swept two meetings last season, including a 73-70 overtime victory on Feb. 23
when Kam Cerroni (Sussex, Wis.) made
a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer. The Phoenix is 14-4 all-time at
home with five victories in a row at the Resch Center.
2. HOME SWEET
HOME: Green Bay is 5-1 at home this season after the victory over
Marquette. In the past three seasons under head coach Brian Wardle, the Phoenix is 27-7 at the Resch Center, including a
17-3 mark since the start of the 2011-12 season. Sykes is averaging 21.0 points
per game and is 49-of-57 from the free-throw line at home this season.
3. MAYS DAYS: Sophomore
Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) has
started the past six games and has been among the team's most consistent
players. The 6-foot-9 Chicago native is coming off a career-high 18 points at
Detroit, making 8-of-9 shots including five dunks. Mays is averaging 10.5
points, 5.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocked shots and is shooting 66.7 percent (26-39)
during that stretch with 11 dunks.
• LAST SEASON'S MEETINGS: Green Bay swept a pair of games against Loyola a season
ago, with a 57-47 win at the Resch Center on Dec. 3 and a 73-70 overtime win on
Feb. 23 in Chicago. Green Bay big men Alec Brown and Brennan Cougill combined
to average 30 points and 18 rebounds per contest, making 23-of-40 shots from
the field. The Phoenix shot 48.3 percent (14-29) from long range while Loyola
hit just 26.1 percent (6-23).
• HOMETOWN HOOPIN': Sykes has had tremendous success in his last two meetings
against schools from his hometown of Chicago, with both leading to Horizon
League Player of the Week honors. Last season, in the regular season finale
against UIC, Sykes scored a then career-high 27 points. He bettered that
outburst in this season's opener, scoring 31 points in a 72-67 win over Chicago
State. In his career, Sykes has led the Phoenix to a 5-0 record against his
hometown schools, averaging 16.2 points.
• FREE AND EASY: Green Bay is the top free-throw shooting team in the
Horizon League, and its 76.2 percent from the line is also tied for 10th
nationally. The Phoenix is 247-324 on the season and has four players with 10
or more attempts shooting at least 85 percent for the season - Kam Cerroni
(25-25), Daniel Turner (11-12), Brennan Cougill (31-35) and Keifer Sykes
• RECORD STREAK: With two free throws against Detroit, Cerroni broke the
program's record for consecutive free throws made. Cerroni has now connected on
40-straight free throws, breaking a record of 38 held by Matt Rohde (2002-03).
Cerroni is 25-of-25 from the line in 2012-13 and his last miss came on Feb. 4,
2012 against Milwaukee. Cougill has made 20 free throws in a row, with his last
miss coming on Nov. 17, 2012.
• HANDLE THE ROCK: Since a forgettable opener in which he committed eight
turnovers without an assist, Sykes has been terrific handling the ball. With a
2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, Sykes has 56 assists compared to just 28 turnovers
in the past 15 games. In addition to ranking second in the conference in
points, he is seventh in assists (3.7) and eight in assist-to-turnover ratio
• 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 41.9 percent (26-62) and is
averaging 7.1 points per game, good for fourth on the squad.
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.xom/tickets.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green
Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
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