Green Bay (13-14) at Loyola-Chicago (7-20)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 23rd, 8:00 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Joseph J. Gentile Arena (10,800) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: Horizon League Network, Sports32. Home Record: Green Bay 12-2, Loyola 4-7. Away Record: Green Bay 1-12, Loyola 3-13. Neutral Record: Green Bay 0-0, Loyola 0-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 8-8, Loyola 1-15. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 23-15.
GAME NOTES: The Green Bay Phoenix attempt to extend their season-long winning streak to four games tonight, as they travel to Gentile Arena to take on the Loyola Chicago Ramblers in Horizon League action.
Green Bay has been mediocre at best this season, going 13-14 overall and splitting its Horizon League games right down the middle at 8-8. The Phoenix seem to be getting hot at the right time however, as they have won three in a row and four of their last five overall, including a 71-67 triumph over Cleveland State on Tuesday. They haven't fared well outside of Green Bay however, winning just one of 13 games on the road this season.
Loyola has been the worst team in the Horizon League, sporting a 7-20 record overall and it owns a dismal 1-15 mark in conference. The Ramblers have played better of late though as they have won two of their last four games and fought first-place Valparaiso to the wire on Tuesday night before ultimately falling in overtime, 66-62.
Green Bay leads the all-time series with Loyola, 23-15, and it has won five of the last six meetings between the two.
Green Bay's recent win over Cleveland State featured 19 lead changes before the dust finally settled, giving the team a .500 record Horizon League action. The Phoenix shot 46.6 percent from the floor in the win and were helped by an impressive night from beyond the arc, draining 10-of-21 three-point tries, including a few in the final minutes to take the lead for good. Kam Cerroni came off the bench to net 17 points on 5-of-8 shooting, all from long-range. Center Alec Brown paces the squad's offensive attack with 13.4 ppg and he is second in the conference in both rebounds (7.9 rpg) and blocks (3.0 bpg). Keifer Sykes is the only other Phoenix player to average double figures with 10.6 ppg as they rank fifth in the league in scoring at 64.1 ppg. Green Bay's defense hasn't been much of a liability, yielding 65.6 ppg on 42.8 percent overall shooting.
Though Loyola fought hard on the road against one of the league's best teams, in the end it simply didn't have enough offense to keep up with Valparaiso, shooting just 42.1 percent from the field and 5-of-15 from three-point range. A few days after winning the Horizon League Player of the Week award, Ben Averkamp continued his stellar play by tallying 21 points and nine rebounds in the loss, and in the last three games he is averaging 21 ppg, 8.3 rpg and 4.7 apg while shooting 52 percent from the field. Averkamp's (14.7 ppg, 7.2 rpg) is one of the only positive points this season for the Ramblers' offense, which is one of the worst in the nation in averaging a paltry 55.8 ppg behind a .414 field goal percentage. Walt Gibler provides some support with 12.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 51.6 percent field goal efficiency. Loyola's dreadful shooting squanders its solid defensive effort this season, as it allows just 61.3 ppg.
Though Green Bay hasn't played well on the road this year, it is playing its best basketball of the season and should be able to top the lowly Ramblers tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 64, Loyola Chicago 59
02/23 10:37:11 ET