Valparaiso (23-7) at Green Bay (16-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, March 2, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Resch Center (9,729) -- Green Bay, Wisconsin. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: Valpo 14-2, Green Bay 11-2. Away Record: Valpo 9-5, Green Bay 4-10. Neutral Record: Valpo 0-0, Green Bay 1-1. Conference Record: Valpo 12-3, Green Bay 10-5. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 26-17.
GAME NOTES: With their second straight Horizon League title already realized, the Crusaders of Valparaiso try to close out the regular season on a high note as they clash with the Green Bay Phoenix at the Resch Center on Saturday afternoon.
Valpo, which needs a win in this meeting to take the regular-season crown outright, enters the weekend one game ahead of Detroit in the standings as it sports a record of 12-3. The team topped Youngstown State on Tuesday night in a 73-64 final, marking its third straight win and the seventh in the last eight outings overall.
As for Green Bay, it has won four of its last five contests, all against league foes. Also in action on Tuesday night, the Phoenix dismissed Milwaukee at home in a 78-61 final in order to move to 10-5 in conference and into third place in the standings. With a victory this weekend, Green Bay would hold onto the third seed in the upcoming conference tournament.
The Crusaders took care of Green Bay in the first meeting of the season back in January by a score of 73-61 at home, which means the all-time series now stands at 26-17 in favor of the Phoenix.
Ryan Broekhoff registered a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as the Valparaiso Crusaders posted a nine-point win over the Youngstown State Penguins in league action at the Athletics-Recreation Center earlier this week. Also putting up a double-double for the Crusaders was Kevin Van Wijk with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Will Bogan contributed 10 points and five assists.
One of the most versatile players in college basketball these days, Broekhoff (16.2 ppg) is not only the top rebounder for Valpo with 7.6 rpg, he is also first on the squad with 75-of-172 shooting behind the 3-point line, adding 63 assists and 25 blocked shots for good measure. Van Wijk checks in with 12.8 ppg and 5.4 rpg as the only player on the roster to have started all 30 contests.
Alec Brown posted a game-high 28 points as the Green Bay Phoenix captured a double-digit win over the Milwaukee Panthers in Horizon League action at home on Tuesday night. Brown, who shot 10-of-12 from the floor, including 4-of-5 behind the 3-point line, added eight rebounds and three blocked shots for Green Bay. Keifer Sykes accounted for 18 points and six assists for the hosts, followed by Greg Mays with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Not only is Sykes the leading scorer for Green Bay through 29 games with his 15.4 ppg, he is also tops in assists as well with 122, many of which have gone to Brown (13.5 ppg). Not only does Brown rank second on the glass with 6.0 rpg, but he is also first with 55 blocked shots and can extend defenses thanks to his 42.0 percent shooting beyond the arc, although as a team the Phoenix don't often attack in that manner, averaging about 4.5 3-pointers per contest.
The tandem of Broekhoff and Van Wijk in the paint is hard enough for teams to deal with, but when the latter also leaks out to the perimeter and starts scoring from long range there's almost no stopping the Crusaders.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 72, Green Bay 66
03/02 11:12:08 ET