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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Resch Center (9,729) -- Green Bay, Wisconsin. Television: ESPN2. Home Record: WSU 10-1, Green Bay 10-1. Away Record: WSU 2-10, Green Bay 5-2. Neutral Record: WSU 1-0, Green Bay 2-1. Conference Record: WSU 5-4, Green Bay 7-1. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 25-24.
GAME NOTES: The Green Bay Phoenix try to start up another winning streak tonight, as they entertain the Wright State Raiders in Horizon League action at the Resch Center.
The Phoenix had been burning up the schedule with 12 straight wins stretching back to the second week of December, but that all came to a crashing halt on Wednesday night when the team absorbed a 75-60 loss versus Valparaiso on the road. It was also the first league setback for a Green Bay program which is still all alone atop the standings.
As for the Raiders, trapped in the middle of the pack with five wins in nine tries in league play, they are hoping to start off the month on the right foot after closing out January with back-to-back defeats. The squad first bowed to Youngstown State by a single point last weekend, 68-67, and then suffered a 68-64 setback to Milwaukee on the road two nights ago.
The all-time series currently favors Green Bay by a slim 25-24 margin after the Phoenix grabbed a 79-69 victory at the Nutter Center just two weeks ago. In that contest the visitors shot 59.6 percent from the field and outscored WSU at the free-throw line, 21-10.
JT Yoho stepped up and generated 20 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench for the Raiders before fouling out on Thursday night, but it wasn't enough as the visitors suffered the setback at the Klotsche Center in Milwaukee. Tavares Sledge led the starters with 12 points and seven rebounds, followed by Jerran Young with 10 points in a reserve role as the team suffered 16 turnovers.
In conference games this season the Raiders have slowed the pace to the point where they are generating only 63.4 ppg, but still that is better than the 59.8 ppg being put up by the opposition. Young has come off the bench in all nine of those contests and is the lone double-digit scorer with 10.1 ppg, shooting an impressive 45.5 percent from beyond the arc.
Playing without Alec Brown for the first time in his career, the Phoenix didn't have the same interior presence that typically gives them an advantage as they suffered the lopsided loss to Valpo a few nights back. Keifer Sykes emerged as the lone double-digit scorer for the visitors with 19 points, adding six assists, as the unit shot a combined 38.3 percent from the floor and just 11-of-21 at the free-throw line.
Prior to the setback to the Crusaders, Sykes was by far the most aggressive offensive performer for the Phoenix with his 20.8 ppg, making a living at the free-throw line where he had knocked down more shots than any of his teammates had attempted. Brown, who is due to return from injury for this contest, is responsible for 16.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg and a hefty 66 blocked shots for a squad that was averaging better than seven rejections per contest coming into the week.
Obviously Green Bay felt the sting of not having Brown in the middle to discourage Valpo shooters, but with his return should come the start of another win streak for the Phoenix.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 72, Wright State 66
02/01 10:18:12 ET
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