By: Andrew Gavin (@GBGavin)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Continuing its season-long five-game homestand, the Green Bay men’s basketball team will welcome Fairfield to the Resch Center on Saturday afternoon at 1 p.m. CT for the first Festival Foods Family Game of the 2013-14 season.
Tickets for Saturday’s game start at only $9 for adults and $7 for youth tickets. The first 1,000 youth fans will receive a mini-basketball hoop set compliments of Fox Communities Credit Union. After the game, the Phoenix will welcome all kids in attendance onto the court for Free Throws with the Phoenix and player autographs.
On Tuesday night, Green Bay (7-3) held visiting Tennessee Tech to 25 points below its season average, and in the process opened up the homestand with a dominant 76-49 victory. The Phoenix will try to use similar defense to post its third-straight win on Saturday when it meets the Stags for the first time in program history.
In the victory over Tennessee Tech, Green Bay tallied 15 steals – tied for third-most all-time – and nine blocked shots – tied for seventh in program history. The Phoenix held the Golden Eagles to just 30.2 percent shooting from the field, including a 1-for-16 effort from long range. Senior Vincent Garrett (Chicago, Ill.) scored all of his career-high 16 points in the second half. Keifer Sykes (17) and Alec Brown (15) added a combined 32 points.
Fairfield comes to Green Bay after a 64-60 win over Northeastern last Sunday. The Stags defense sports an opponent field goal percentage of just 39.4 this season.
GREEN BAY PROBABLE STARTERS
G – #24 Keifer Sykes, G, Jr., 5-11, 175
G – #35 Vince Garrett, G, Sr., 6-6, 220
F – #4 Jordan Fouse, F, So., 6-7, 225
F – #15 Greg Mays, F, Jr., 6-9, 222
C – #21 Alec Brown, C, Sr., 7-1, 235
LIVE COVERAGE: For fans who are unable to attend Saturday’s game, the contest will be available on the Horizon League Network (live video) and WNFL 1440 AM (live audio) with Matt Menzl (play-by-play) and Cordero Barkley (color analyst) on the call.
WHAT A RUN: During Tuesday night’s game, Green Bay found itself trailing 27-23 late in the first half. Over the course of the next 15 minutes and 27 seconds of game action, the Phoenix used a 38-3 run to take a 31-point lead. Tennessee Tech was held to just 1-of-19 shooting and committed 13 turnovers during the Phoenix spurt.
LONG SHOOTER: Despite standing 7-1 and being the team’s starting center, Alec Brown has turned into one of Green Bay’s top three-point shooters. After starting the season by missing his first seven three-pointers, Brown has made 14 of his past 25 shots from long range. For the season, Brown is 14-of-32 for 43.8 percent.
PHO SLAMMA JAMMA: The Anchorage Daily News tabbed the Phoenix as Pho Slamma Jamma during the Great Alaska Shootout, recognizing the team’s high-flying style and highlight reel dunks. Green Bay’s above the rim act was on display in the second half on Tuesday, with junior Greg Mays (Chicago, Ill.) throwing down three dunks and Vince Garrett adding a fourth. For the season, Mays has 14 of the team’s 32 dunks through 10 games this season while 5-foot-11 junior Keifer Sykes has added 10.
SCORING GUARD: Sykes is off to a torrid start to his junior campaign. Averaging 21.1 points per game, Sykes leads the Horizon League and ranks in a tie for 26th nationally. The 5-foot-11 point guard has seven 20-point games this season, and against Virginia became the first player in the program’s Division I history to score 20 or more in six-straight games. Sykes has reached double figures in 21-straight contests.
NATIONAL RANKINGS: Green Bay has three different players in the top-30 nationally in a statistical ranking. Sophomore Jordan Fouse (Racine, Wis.) is fourth in the country in steals per game (3.1), senior Alec Brown ranks 17th in blocks per game (3.3), and junior Keifer Sykes (Chicago, Ill.) is tied for 26th in points per game (21.1).
GRAND THEFT PHOENIX: With 15 steals on Tuesday night, Green Bay ended just one shy of tying the program’s record of 16. The 15 swipes set a Resch Center record, tied for the third-most all-time and were the most by a Phoenix squad since Dec. 13, 1989.
ON GUARD: Last season, head coach Brian Wardle’s focus on the defensive end came to fruition with the Phoenix leading the Horizon League in field goal percentage defense and blocks per game. Green Bay has carried over the strong defense into the 2013-14 season. Wardle’s squad again leads the conference in field goal percentage defense (.388) and blocks per game (8.0) while ranking second in three-point field goal percentage defense (.311), scoring defense (67.2) and steals (8.2).
BUILDING BLOCKS: With an average of 8.0 blocks per game, the Phoenix is second nationally. Green Bay has blocked 80 shots through 10 games and is well on its way to breaking the single-season program record for the fourth-straight season. Brown (33), Fouse (21) and Mays (11) are all on pace to block more shots this season than last season. Of the program’s top-12 all-time single-game team block efforts, six have been recorded in 2013-14 and 10 have happened in the past three seasons.
STREAKING SOPHOMORE: Fouse opened the 2013-14 season by extending two impressive statistical streaks. The reigning rebounding champion in the Horizon League has grabbed five or more boards in 29 consecutive games. At Eastern Michigan, the 6-foot-7 sophomore wing had a streak of blocking a shot end at 30.
TOUGH LOSSES: Green Bay has dropped three games this season, losing to Wisconsin (12-0), Harvard (9-1) and Eastern Michigan (6-3) teams that have combined for a 27-4 record to date. The Phoenix held second-half leads against both Wisconsin and Harvard.
All tickets for the 2013-14 men’s basketball season are on sale now. For more information about season tickets, ticket packages and more, please visit the ticketing page at GreenBayPhoenix.com.
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