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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 29, 11:59 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska. Television: None. Home Record: Green Bay 2-1, Harvard 3-0. Away Record: Green Bay 0-0, Harvard 0-1. Neutral Record: Green Bay 1-0, Harvard 2-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 0-0, Harvard 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: In the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout the Green Bay Phoenix will clash with the Harvard Crimson at Sullivan Arena.
In a high-scoring affair during the first round, the Phoenix was able to outlast Pepperdine and claim a 97-89 victory on Thursday. The win was the third in four games on the campaign for Green Bay.
Harvard got back in the win column with a 68-60 triumph over Denver in the first round of the tournament. The Crimson fell on the road to Colorado (70-62) in their previous contest, with that loss ending a four-game win streak to start the year.
This matchup will be the first ever between these two programs on the hardwood.
The winner of this contest will take on the victor of the Tulsa/TCU semifinal in the tournament's title game on Saturday.
Despite allowing the Waves to hit 55.4 percent of their field goal tries and being outscored (39-30) from beyond the arc, the Phoenix still rose above Pepperdine. The difference was how frequently Green Bay got the free-throw line, where it outscored Pepperdine by a 25-4 margin.
Green Bay is scoring 81.5 points per game and hitting on 47.1 percent of their field goal attempts. Then on defense the Phoenix is holding teams to 39.4 percent shooting. However, those numbers have largely been influenced by matchups with lesser competition as the Phoenix have played two of their four games against opponents outside of the Division I ranks. Keifer Sykes (21.5 ppg, 3.2 apg) leads the team in scoring and assists. Sykes is joined by four other players averaging in double figures, with reserve Vincent Garrett (12.2 ppg) the second best option.
In the win over Denver the Crimson enjoyed a hefty advantage on the boards, grabbing 38 to the 23 collected by the Pioneers. The Crimson hit 46.9 percent of their shots from the floor and were led by a 20-point, eight-rebound effort from Steve Moundou-Missi.
Harvard's showing on the defensive end has been critical to their early season success. The Crimson are limiting opponents to 58.5 points per game on just over 40 percent shooting from the field. Wesley Saunders (15.8 ppg) was also instrumental in the win over Denver, as he dropped in 19 points, while grabbing eight rebounds and handing out three assists. Saunders is the leading scorer on the year for the Crimson. Moundou-Missi (12.3 ppg, 6.8 rpg) is a solid scorer and a strong rebounder. Kyle Casey (10.7 ppg) is the third option, though he struggled a bit against Denver, netting only 4-of-12 shots from the floor.
The Crimson have been playing efficient basketball on both ends of the floor. Expect Saunders and company to put forth another solid effort en route to a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Harvard 71, Green Bay 61
11/29 10:43:44 ET