Pepperdine (4-1) vs. Green Bay (2-1) (ET)
GAME NOTES: The Pepperdine Waves and Green Bay Phoenix will hit the floor at Sullivan Arena on Thanksgiving night, as part of the 2013 Great Alaska Shootout.
Marty Wilson's Waves are off to a fast start, with wins in four of their first five games. The lone loss came against San Jose State on Nov. 20 at home, but Pepperdine was able to find its way back to the win column three days later with a 58-53 win over Utah Valley.
Brian Wardle's Phoenix haven't exactly gotten a lot of work in the first few weeks of the season. Green Bay has played just three games over the course of three weeks, with lopsided wins over Northern Michigan (71-49) and Minnesota Duluth (92-57) sandwiched around a narrow loss to nationally-ranked Wisconsin (69-66).
Green Bay won the only previous meeting between these two teams, a 57-49 win at home during the 1996-97 season. The winner of this game will take on either Denver or Harvard in the next round on Friday.
Part of the reason for Pepperdine's fast start has been the team's efficiency at the offensive end. The Waves are posting 74.6 ppg, doing so on .485 shooting. Sophomore forward Stacy Davis and senior forward Brendan Lane have been a potent one-two punch in the frontcourt. Davis is shooting .582 from the floor and leads the team in scoring at 19.6 ppg, while ranking second in rebounding (7.8 rpg). The roles are reversed for Lane, who ranks second in scoring (14.2 pp), but first in rebounding (10.4 rpg). Freshman guard Jeremy Major adds a modest 8.6 ppg, while leading the way as the team's top distributor (4.6 apg).
It certainly wasn't a pretty game offensively speaking against Utah Valley, but despite shooting just .419 from the floor and committing 15 turnovers, Pepperdine was able to earn a five-point win by holding Utah Valley to a mere .317 shooting performance and earning a 42-33 edge in rebounding. Davis was well below his season average, hitting just 2-of-8 shots from the floor and netting just seven points. Lane recorded a double-double though, finishing with 11 points and 10 rebounds to lead the charge. Nikolas Skouen added 10 points in 17 minutes of work off the bench.
Keifer Sykes got off to a fast start against Minnesota Duluth, scoring the first nine points of the game and finished with a game-high 21 points in the rout. However, Sykes' scoring outburst took a backseat to the stat line that seven-footer Alec Brown had, as he posted the third triple-double in school history, finishing with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocked shots. Vince Garrett and Carrington Love provided valuable contributions off the bench with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
The favorite in the Horizon League this season, Green Bay has played extremely well at both ends of the court and the result is a +18.0 scoring margin. The Phoenix are shooting .475 from the floor and putting up 76.3 ppg, while holding foes well under 40 percent shooting (.339) and just 58.3 ppg. Sykes was right on his season average last time out, as he is netting a gaudy 21.0 ppg. Garrett and Love are in double figures as well at 12.7 and 10.0 ppg, respectively. Forward Jordan Rouse isn't much of a scorer (3.3 ppg), but does make more of an impact on the boards (10.3 rpg).
The Phoenix may not have many games under their belt, but Green Bay is a very dangerous mid-major program that proved it can hang with the nation's elite already this season. Look for Green Bay to advance up in the Last Frontier.
GAME NOTES: The Pepperdine Waves and Green Bay Phoenix will hit the floor at
Sullivan Arena on Thanksgiving night, as part of the 2013 Great Alaska
FACTS & STATS: Site: Sullivan Arena (8,700) -- Anchorage, Alaska.
Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Pepperdine 2-1, Green Bay 2-1. Away Record:
Pepperdine 2-0, Green Bay 0-0. Neutral Record: Pepperdine 0-0, Green Bay 0-0.
Conference Record: Pepperdine 0-0, Green Bay 0-0. Series Record: Green Bay
leads, 1-0.Game Date and Time
Thursday, November 28, 9:30 p.m. (ET)Predicted Outcome
Green Bay 72, Pepperdine 65