Green Bay (14-3) at Illinois-Chicago (5-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 19, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: UIC Pavilion (8,000) -- Chicago, Illinois. Television: HLN. Home Record: Green Bay 8-1, UIC 2-6. Away Record: Green Bay 4-1, UIC 1-5. Neutral Record: Green Bay 2-1, UIC 2-2. Conference Record: Green Bay 4-0, UIC 0-4. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 49-37.
GAME NOTES: Two teams at opposite ends of the spectrum in the Horizon League get together in the Windy City as the Illinois-Chicago Flames entertain the Green Bay Phoenix.
The only team in the Horizon League yet to drop a league bout, Green Bay is a perfect 4-0 and also has the best overall record in the conference at 14-3, thanks to a 79-69 victory over Wright State on Friday night at the Nutter Center in Ohio. Now 4-1 in true road dates, the Phoenix are enjoying a 10-game win streak, capturing 12 victories in the last 13 outings overall.
While Green Bay is enjoying life at the top, the Flames are seriously ailing at the moment without a single league win in four tries. UIC has a total of just five wins in 2013-14, two of which have come against programs not from the Division I level. On Thursday night the team bowed to Milwaukee at home, 67-63, the seventh straight setback for the Flames.
The Flames trail the all-time series by a count of 49-37, but they won the last meeting played in this building almost a year ago, 60-57.
Alec Brown led four players in double figures as he tallied 24 points on 8- of-11 shooting from the floor for the Phoenix during their win over Wright State two nights ago. Keifer Sykes filled out his stat line with 18 points, seven assists and six rebounds, overcoming six turnovers, while Greg Mays and Jordan Fouse pitched in with 14 and 10 points, respectively. The team not only converted 59.6 percent from the floor, Green Bay also made good on 21-of-26 at the free-throw line.
Overall this season it is Sykes who is leading the way on offense for the Phoenix, not only with his team-best 20.4 ppg, stemming from 50.9 percent shooting from the floor and 83.0 percent at the charity stripe, but also with his 91 assists, against just 33 turnovers. Brown provides a huge presence in the paint with 16.6 ppg and 6.4 rpg, not to mention his 57 blocked shots which places him among the nation's best. As a unit, Green Bay has rejected 131 shots, compared to only 58 for the opposition.
The Flames appeared to be well on their way to an upset win against Milwaukee a few nights back, leading by 13 points at the break, but then the offense dried up and the defense couldn't stop the visitors in what turned into a four-point setback. UIC made a total of just six field goals after intermission and missed all eight chances beyond the arc, hitting only 4-of-17 for the game. Marc Brown tallied 18 points, followed by Jake Wiegand and Jay Parker with 14 and 12 points, respectively.
In conference play the Flames are scoring only 62.5 ppg, but are giving up 71.8 ppg as opponents shoot 48.2 percent from the field and 40.0 percent behind the 3-point line. On the offensive side, Brown is the top scoring option for the group with his 16.3 ppg. Kelsey Barlow is responsible for another 13.5 ppg, but in his case he is shooting just 35.3 percent from the floor in league play.
While anything can happen on any given day in college basketball, it would take a dramatic turn of events for the Flames to burn the Phoenix in this matchup at this particular time in the campaign.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 77, Illinois-Chicago 62
01/19 10:18:45 ET