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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) -- Valparaiso, Indiana. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Green Bay 9-1, Valpo 9-1. Away Record: Green Bay 0-7, Valpo 6-4. Neutral Record: Green Bay 1-1, Valpo 0-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 4-2, Valpo 5-1. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 26-16.
GAME NOTES: Still seeking their first true road win of the 2012-13 campaign, the Green Bay Phoenix head to Indiana on Wednesday night where they will battle the Crusaders of Valparaiso in Horizon League action.
Green Bay, which has come up empty in seven true road games, is still a game over .500 on the season overall, thanks to a 9-1 mark at home. The team just completed an impressive four-game homestand with a clean sweep of conference foes. The latest victory came last Saturday against Cleveland State in a lopsided 77-50 final, moving Green Bay to 4-2 in conference play.
Despite the recent run of strong play, Green Bay still trails the Crusaders in the standings. Sporting a 5-1 mark in Horizon action, Valpo enters play on Wednesday tied with Wright State for first place. Ironically, it was the Crusaders who handed the Raiders their only conference loss of the season, 69-63, over the weekend. The win was the fifth in a row and the eighth in nine tries for the program.
Green Bay enters the game with a 26-16 advantage in the all-time series.
The Phoenix blew the doors off Cleveland State last Saturday at the Resch Center, shooting 54.8 percent from the floor and hitting on 25-of-32 at the free-throw line in order to overcome 19 turnovers. Jordan Fouse filled up his stat line with 17 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots, although he also had six turnovers. Brennan Cougill registered a double-double of his own off the bench with 11 points and 10 boards, while Sultan Muhammad dropped 15 points, followed by Keifer Sykes and Alec Brown with 14 apiece. In conference games this season, Green Bay has held opponents to just 58.0 ppg, stemming from 35.1 percent shooting from the floor and 29.4 percent accuracy out on the perimeter. Sykes (12.3 ppg) and Brown (12.0 ppg) have combined to make 44-of-57 at the free-throw line for the program in those six decisions.
The front court tandem of Ryan Broekhoff and Kevin Van Wijk again dominated for the Crusaders, as both scored 18 points and handed out four assists, adding a combined 17 rebounds in the win over Wright State in a battle of the top teams in the Horizon League over the weekend. Broekhoff, who recorded a double-double with his 10 rebounds, also made a statement by hitting 3-of-7 shots behind the 3-point line at the same time. Matt Kenney tacked on 15 points and six dishes for the squad as well. One of the most well-rounded performers in the conference, Broekhoff is averaging 17.1 ppg and 8.4 rpg at the moment, controlling the inside while also forcing defenders to track him out on the perimeter where he has made good on 52-of-110 (.473) shots beyond the arc. Van Wijk (13.6 ppg) doesn't have any illusions about being a deep threat, having tried only one shot behind the 3-point line this season.
With Broekhoff and Van Wijk causing matchup problems on the inside and the former also leaking to the outside in order to give Van Wijk some space to operate, the Crusaders are a team built to go far this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Valparaiso 77, Green Bay 62
01/23 10:33:59 ET