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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, November 16, 11:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawlor Events Center (11,536) -- Reno, Nevada. Television: None. Home Record: Green Bay 1-0, SUU 0-0. Away Record: Green Bay 0-0, SUU 0-1. Neutral Record: Green Bay 0-0, SUU 0-0. Conference Record: Green Bay 0-0, SUU 0-0. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: The World Vision Classic takes over the Lawlor Events Center in Reno this weekend, with one of the matchups on Friday involving the Green Bay Phoenix and the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah.
Green Bay, a member of the Horizon League, opened the 2012-13 schedule with a 72-67 victory over Chicago State at home on Saturday as the team broke a 31- year old program record for free throws made, hitting 41-of-48 in the contest.
As for the Thunderbirds, who now compete in the Big Sky Conference, their first outing of the season was not as positive as they were crushed by nationally-ranked Gonzaga on the road a week ago in a 103-65 decision.
Green Bay won the only other meeting between the teams back in 1995 by a score of 65-58 at home.
Tomorrow the Phoenix will square off against Nevada and then catch Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, while SUU plays the same two teams in reverse order.
Outside of Green Bay's performance at the charity stripe in the opener, one would be hard-pressed to find much more positive that went on for the squad and yet the Phoenix still picked up the win. The squad shot a dismal 6-of-23 from the floor in the first half, including 1-of-11 behind the three-point line and in the second half missed all six attempts from long range and converted only 9-of-25 from the floor. Nevertheless, Keifer Sykes still managed to rack up a career-high 31 points and clear seven rebounds as he converted half of his 14 field goals and 17-of-19 at the stripe, the latter setting a new school record for conversions in a game. However, Keifer also came dangerously close to a dubious double-double after being charged with nine miscues, without the benefit of a single assist. Brennan Cougill added 10 points and Jordan Fouse 10 rebounds to lead in that department.
Very few teams are able to leave the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane with a win and the Thunderbirds found that out first-hand last week when they suffered a 38-point setback versus the resident Bulldogs. Southern Utah was overmatched from the very beginning as Gonzaga went to the free-throw line a total of 30 times, compared to just 11 trips for an SUU crew that ended up with more turnovers (28) than made baskets (27). Despite the defeat, Jackson Stevenett still put on a strong showing for the Thunderbirds as he dropped in a game-high 29 points in 30 minutes of work, nailing all but four of his 15 field goal attempts. Wade Collie added 10 points as the only other double- digit scorer. Damon Heuir was pretty much a lost cause as he shot just 2-of-11 from the floor, including 1-of-7 beyond the arc, and finished with three more miscues (eight) than he had points.
Obviously the T'birds had their hands full with Gonzaga in the opener and they've probably gone over all their issues from that meeting, but that doesn't mean they have the ability to take down the Phoenix.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 69, Southern Utah 62
11/16 10:32:08 ET
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