Green Bay (19-5) at Youngstown State (13-12)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 13, 7:05 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Beeghly Center (6,500) -- Youngstown, Ohio. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Green Bay 12-2, YSU 9-2. Away Record: Green Bay 5-2, YSU 2-10. Neutral Record: Green Bay 2-1, YSU 2-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 9-2, YSU 4-6. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 27-8.
GAME NOTES: The top team in the Horizon League takes the floor in Ohio tonight, as the Green Bay Phoenix suit up against conference foe Youngstown State for the second time this season.
The first meeting of 2013-14 took place back on Jan. 4 with Green Bay grabbing an 85-69 win at home at the Resch Center, which means the all-time series now stands at 27-8 in favor of the Phoenix.
More recently, Green Bay has hit a couple of snags with two defeats in the last four outings. Over the weekend, the program saw a minor two-game win streak come to an end as Milwaukee claimed a 73-63 win on Green Bay's home floor. Still, the Phoenix lead the Horizon League standings with a 9-2 mark.
Unfortunately for the Penguins, they've finally gotten around to their first three-game slide of the campaign, losing four of the last five overall while dropping to 4-6 in conference. The team did manage to take Detroit to overtime on Sunday, but still suffered the 83-81 setback at Calihan Hall.
The Phoenix had lost just once at home in 12 games before tangling with Milwaukee over the weekend and that proved to be a difficult task for Green Bay as it bowed by double figures. Keifer Sykes continued his assault on the rest of the Horizon as he dropped in 26 points, shooting 9-of-20 from the floor, but he was the only player in double figures for the hosts as they shot a mere 5-of-18 behind the 3-point line and turned the ball over 14 times.
A starter in every game for Green Bay, Sykes heads the scoring list for the program with his 20.7 ppg, cranking out 122 assists along the way to pace the group in that category as well. Sykes has made good on 146-of-183 at the free- throw line and is responsible for 4.3 rpg, which means he is a player who can do it all. Alec Brown checks in with 15.6 ppg and is one of the nation's leaders with 73 rejections.
Shawn Amiker scored a game-high 25 points last weekend at Detroit, but even that effort, coupled with 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists from Kendrick Perry was not enough to get the Penguins into the win column. Also scoring in double figures for the visitors were Kamren Belin and DJ Cole with 13 points apiece, while Bobby Hain tacked on eight points and 13 rebounds for a team that didn't get a single point from the reserves.
The Penguins have been better-than-average in conference play at home this season with three wins in four chances, but overall the team is still being outscored by Horizon opponents through 10 contests. However, Perry continues to put his stamp on games with 20.0 ppg and 42 assists, even if he is shooting only 27.1 percent behind the 3-point line. Cole checks in with 10.0 ppg and is first with 54 assists, not to mention shooting 52.0 percent out on the perimeter.
Much like the Phoenix, YSU has been quite impressive at home this season, but the team cannot rely solely on the starters to pull it through when the Green Bay defense has proven to be so aggressive.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 75, Youngstown State 66
02/13 10:24:48 ET