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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 27, 8 p.m. (ET).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics Center O'rena (3,000) -- Rochester, Michigan. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: Green Bay 13-2, Oakland 9-5. Away Record: Green Bay 7-2, Oakland 2-11. Neutral Record: Green Bay 2-1, Oakland 0-2. Conference Record: Green Bay 12-2, Oakland 6-8. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 4-3.
GAME NOTES: Owners of the Horizon League title, the Green Bay Phoenix head out on the road for the final two games of the regular season, beginning with a meeting against the Oakland Golden Grizzlies tonight at the O'Rena.
Green Bay, which will also face off against Detroit in Michigan over the weekend in order to ramp up for the league tournament, has won three straight and five of the last six outings in order to move to 12-2 in league play. The Phoenix crushed Valparaiso a week ago in a 67-53 final at home, capturing the regular season title for the first time since the 1995-96 campaign.
As for the Golden Grizzlies, a team which began the season 0-7 after facing off against three nationally-ranked foes in the first four contests, is now 11-18 overall and just 6-8 in conference. Oakland's most recent outing took place last Friday at Illinois-Chicago where it delivered an 86-71 win, the second in the last three outings.
Green Bay won the first meeting of the season late last month at the Resch Center by a score of 83-69, which means the all-time series now favors the Phoenix by a count of 4-3.
Keifer Sykes tallied a game-high 19 points as the Green Bay Phoenix captured a 67-53 win over the Crusaders of Valparaiso in Horizon League play at the Resch Center this time last week. Sykes, who shot only 4-of-13 from the floor, converted all but one of 12 chances at the free-throw line for the Phoenix. Jordan Fouse produced a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Alec Brown added 14 points and a staggering eight blocked shots. Green Bay outscored the visitors at the charity stripe, 22-5, on the night.
One of only two players to have started every game so far this season, Sykes is generating a team-best 20.3 ppg, although his mere 28.9 percent accuracy behind the 3-point line is somewhat disappointing. But more than just a scorer, Sykes is also the one getting the rest of the team involved in the action with his 134 assists, teammates such as Brown (16.0 ppg) and Greg Mays (10.2 ppg) who have combined to clear 11.2 rpg and block 114 shots.
Against UIC, a team at which that point had still gone winless in conference play, the Golden Grizzlies followed the lead set by sharpshooter Travis Bader who tallied 28 points, shooting 4-of-6 behind the 3-point line and 12-of-13 at the charity stripe. Duke Mondy pitched in with 17 points, eight assists and seven rebounds, followed by Ralph Hill with 13 points for a squad that connected on 9-of-18 beyond the arc.
Bader, who is the NCAA's all-time leading 3-point shooter with 487 conversions, has 130 triples this season to lead the nation. Now just two 3- point attempts shy of 1,200 for his career, which is already a record on which he continues to build, Bader is posting 20.1 ppg on the campaign, followed by Corey Petros (13.0 ppg) who is more inclined to handle the action in the paint with his 8.0 rpg.
The last time the Grizzlies had a losing conference record was back in 2005-06 when they posted a 6-10 mark over in the Summit League, but it appears as though the team is heading in that direction given how dominant Green Bay has been this year.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 74, Oakland 61
02/27 10:15:56 ET
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