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CONFERENCES COACHING CHANGES TRANSACTIONS GAMING MATCHUP CURRENT ODDS
Green Bay (5-2) at Eastern Michigan (5-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, December 10, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Convocation Center (8,824) -- Ypsilanti, Michigan. Television: None. Home Record: Green Bay 3-1, EMU 5-1. Away Record: Green Bay 0-0, EMU 0-2. Neutral Record: Green Bay 2-1, EMU 0-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 0-0, EMU 0-0. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 5-4.
GAME NOTES: The Green Bay Phoenix head out for their first true road game of 2013-14 tonight, as they clash with the Eastern Michigan Eagles in non- conference action.
Green Bay, which has a mark of 2-1 in neutral-site affairs thus far, is coming off a surprising 75-72 win versus visiting Virginia on Saturday. The victory was the second in a row and the fourth in the last five games for the program.
As for the Eagles, they enjoyed early success as they began the season with five straight victories coming out of the chute, but since then there have been three consecutive setbacks, all against top-notch competition. The slide began with an 81-63 loss to Kentucky, continued with a 69-57 defeat at the hands of UMass, and was extended with a 69-64 final versus Purdue on Saturday afternoon in West Lafayette.
In terms of the all-time series between the programs, Green Bay has taken five of the previous nine encounters, including a 73-69 victory in the most recent battle around this time eight years ago.
In a game that featured eight ties and 14 lead changes, the Phoenix found themselves in the lead at just the right time on Saturday as they pulled off the win against visiting Virginia, thanks in large part to Keifer Sykes who posted 21 points and 10 assists. Greg Mays accounted for a team-best 24 points and Carrington Love tacked on 10 off the bench as the team shot not only 51.0 percent from the field, but also 7-of-14 behind the 3-point line. The Cavaliers made good on just 5-of-17 shots out on the perimeter.
Sykes, who recently joined the 1,000-point club for Green Bay, is scoring a hefty 22.6 ppg for the squad right now, close to twice the average of any one of his teammates through seven games. A 51.0 percent shooter from the floor, Sykes has converted just 24.1 percent on the outside, but tried to make up for it with 37 assists, against just 14 turnovers. Mays (11.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg) and Alec Brown (11.3 ppg, 5.6 rpg) help to shoulder the load in the paint, with the latter also responsible for 23 blocked shots.
Against a Purdue team that is now 8-2, the Eagles managed to limit the opposition to just 40.0 percent shooting from the field and 6-of-21 beyond the arc, but at the end of the day Eastern Michigan could not overcome its own mistakes (20 turnovers) during the five-point decision. Karrington Ward gave the Eagles hope by scoring 25 points and pulling down eight rebounds, but he was the only starter to score in double figures for the visitors. Glenn Bryant came off the bench to come within a rebound of a double-double as he tallied 11 points, but it still wasn't enough.
Ward has been doing it both on the inside and out on the perimeter for the Eagles to this point, leading the group in scoring with 16.5 ppg, thanks to 46.4 percent shooting behind the 3-point line, not to mention coming up with 6.1 rpg which also paces the group. Raven Lee (12.9 ppg) is also someone who can be counted on to be a threat from beyond the arc with his 44.0 percent accuracy, but for now it is the defense that makes EMU so successful, holding foes to just 36.7 percent shooting from the floor and 27.1 percent on the perimeter.
As long as they don't get caught up in praising themselves for the big win over Virginia, the Phoenix should be more than capable of picking up the victory tonight as well.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 68, Eastern Michigan 61
12/10 10:31:11 ET