FACTS & STATS: Site: Gentile Arena (5,200) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: CSN-CHI, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Green Bay 9-1, Loyola 6-3. Away Record: Green Bay 1-9, Loyola 6-4. Neutral Record: Green Bay 1-1, Loyola 1-1. Conference Record: Green Bay 5-4, Loyola 3-5. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 25-15.
GAME NOTES: Playing in the Windy City for the second time in as many games, the Green Bay Phoenix turn their attention to the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers for a Horizon League bout at Gentile Arena.
Two nights ago, Green Bay paid a visit to the Illinois-Chicago Flames at UIC Pavilion and came up short in a 60-57 final. The defeat was the second in the last three games for the Phoenix, the team now 5-4 in conference play as a result.
Meanwhile, the Ramblers were at home against Milwaukee on Wednesday night and used the opportunity to produce a 76-65 win. The victory was the third in four tries for a program that had dropped four straight previously. It was also the first home conference win for a Loyola squad that is now 3-5 in league play.
Green Bay won the first meeting of the season between the teams by a score of 58-45 at home last month as Jordan Fouse registered a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds, adding seven steals along the way as well. With the decision the Phoenix are now ahead in the all-time series by a count of 25-15, winning three straight and seven of the last eight encounters.
Trailing by as many as 12 points in the second half, Green Bay made a strong push against UIC on Thursday night before falling in the three-point decision on the road. Keifer Sykes stepped up with 18 points and four assists, but he was also tagged for six turnovers as the team suffered 16 miscues in the meeting. Brennan Cougill logged 11 points and six rebounds, followed by Greg Mays with 10 points and five boards. Fouse, who had the strong game against Loyola in the first meeting of the season, posted six points, seven rebounds, and four blocked shots. Sykes (15.4 ppg) is not only the leading scorer for the Phoenix, he is also first with 92 assists, with many of those dishes going to Alec Brown (12.5 ppg) and Cougill (11.5 ppg), the latter still trying to become a 3-point threat even though he has converted just 7-of-44 on the outside.
Ben Averkamp had a huge game for the Ramblers earlier this week as he registered a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds, adding four assists as well in the win over Milwaukee. Jordan Hicks checked in with another 21 points, shooting 10-of-14 from the floor, while Christian Thomas tacked on 16 points as he converted 6-of-8 attempts from the field, the team shooting an impressive 52.7 percent from the floor overall. Averkamp, one of four to have started every game this season for the Ramblers, is responsible for 15.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg, both of which pace the program. Thomas (9.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg) is second in both categories as the team puts up 63.3 ppg, but at least that's still better than the 59.8 ppg allowed on the campaign.
Green Bay has been brutal on the road this season and there doesn't seem to be much reason to think that is going to change this weekend, especially if Averkamp is able to dominate the action in the paint as he did a few nights back.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Loyola-Chicago 63, Green Bay 55
02/02 10:32:28 ET
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