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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, March 5, 8 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Resch Center (9,729) -- Green Bay, Wisconsin. Television: None. Home Record: Milwaukee 7-7, Green Bay 11-3. Away Record: Milwaukee 1-14, Green Bay 4-10. Neutral Record: Milwaukee 0-2, Green Bay 1-1. Conference Record: Milwaukee 3-13, Green Bay 10-6. Series Record: Green Bay leads, 28-19.
GAME NOTES: A battle between programs from the Badger State are part of the kickoff to the 34th annual Horizon League Tournament on Tuesday night, as the Green Bay Phoenix host the Milwaukee Panthers in first-round action at the Resch Center.
Milwaukee, which has won this event three times previously, the last time coming in 2006, has a record of 14-14 all-time in the tourney. As the ninth seed in the competition this time around, the Panthers are coming off a regular season in which they were a mere 8-23 overall and just 3-13 versus the rest of the league.
As for Green Bay, it finished third in the standings with a mark of 10-6, having bowed to Valparaiso at home on Saturday. The Phoenix are an impressive 11-3 in their own building in 2012-13, but the team has captured the trophy in this tourney just once and that was way back in 1995, playing in the title game only once time since in 1998.
Green Bay swept the season series against the Panthers, posting a 78-61 victory in the most recent meeting just last week in this same building. As a result, the Phoenix now own a 28-19 advantage in the all-time series.
The winner of this meeting will be back in action on Friday night in the second round of the tourney versus the survivor of the Cleveland State/Illinois Chicago contest.
Milwaukee, which took on Butler in the championship game of the 2011 Horizon League Tournament, has been beaten up rather soundly this season and has won only once in 15 true road dates. Coming up empty against all Horizon opponents on the road, the Panthers are scoring just 63.3 ppg while shooting 39.1 percent from the floor and 31.9 percent behind the 3-point line through 31 contests. Paris Gulley leads the way with his 14.7 ppg, but immediately behind him is Jordan Aaron with another 14.6 ppg. Responsible for a team-best 127 assists, Aaron has combined with Gulley to knock down 117 3-pointers this season, but each is shooting just 37.4 percent from the field heading into what could be the final game of the season.
Priding itself on having a tough defense, Green Bay has held the competition to just 62.9 ppg this season. Opponents have connected on 41.2 percent of their field goal attempts versus the Phoenix, but where Green Bay has been lacking a bit this season is stopping foes from out on the perimeter where those teams have made 55 3-pointers through 30 games. From an offensive standpoint, Keifer Sykes is one of three players to have started every game for the group and as a result is also the top scorer with his 15.4 ppg, not to mention pacing the team with 125 assists. Alec Brown accounts for 13.5 ppg and 5.9 rpg, but the lost player in all of this might be Brennan Cougill (9.4 ppg, 5.7 rpg), who has been coming off the bench for much of the campaign.
Based on the simple fact that the Panthers can't seem to perform well out on the road, expect to see Green Bay advancing to the next round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Green Bay 67, Milwaukee 59
03/05 10:44:12 ET
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