Men's basketball back at home for interstate rival

Badgers tip off with UW-Green Bay Tuesday

The University of Wisconsin men's basketball team tips off a three-game stretch versus in-state Division I rivals Tuesday night as they host UW-Green Bay.

The Badgers will be seeking their 32nd consecutive win at home and also their l1th win in 11 chances against the Phoenix.

Riding strong after its first road win of the year, Wisconsin now, however, faces a familiar foe seeking its fourth win in a row. Hailing from the Horizon League, UW-Green Bay is also playing at a very high level, most recently coming off a 20-point home win versus Weber State last Saturday.

"They're well-coached. They play hard. They've got good shooters," UW head coach Bo Ryan said. "And they're playing Wisconsin. It's like schools in Michigan that get to play Michigan, schools in Ohio that get to play Ohio State. If enough of those schools played all the other Division I schools in your state, you'd find out there's not that big a difference. But Green Bay feels they can come in there and get us, and that's the way you get your team ready when you're Green Bay."

For a group shooting 46 percent from field, UW-Green Bay has four players averaging double-digits points per contest. The Phoenix are led in scoring by sophomore forward Josh Lawrence and his 15.4 points per game, but what really makes this team tick is the leadership of their two starting guards, Javier Mendiburu and Matt Rohde.

Mendiburu is the leading assist man (10.0 per game) on head coach Tod Kowalczyk's Phoenix squad, fresh off an 11-point, 14-assist performance in their last outing. Rohde is third on the team in scoring with 11.8 points per game and is the team-leader in three-pointers made (13).

However, one weakness that stands out for the Phoenix is their rebounding. With a rebounding margin of negative 0.4, UW-GB will need to keep the Badgers—a team with a rebounding margin of plus-4.8—off the glass and limit second chance opportunities to defeat the state's best.

Nonetheless, the Badger players know what to expect: nothing but the best.

"They're a good, smart team," senior guard Sharif Chambliss said. "They'll be ready to play their game, but so do we. We have to dictate the tempo and run our offense in order to be successful."

Chambliss, who will likely get his second start as a Badger Tuesday night, is red-hot for UW as of late. In the last two games, the senior is averaging 14.5 points per contest and has connected on 7 of 12 three-pointers in the process.

Combined with the rest of the starters, UW must be ready for an excited and dangerous UW-GB team out of the gates—one that will be looking to attack early and often in this David vs. Goliath match up.

"They come out at us with the mentality that they don't have anything to lose and everything to gain, so you know they'll be tough" said junior Ray Nixon, a Milwaukee native. "Playing against guys you played with in high school and in AAU, these games are great rivalries."

In a meeting between many old friends, Tuesday night's match up expects to create a very exciting setting at the Kohl Center.

"It is always exciting playing instate schools. They are always great teams," senior Andreas Helmigk said. "These fans really love to see the other local schools playing here in the Kohl Center."

What: UW-Green Bay (4-1) at University of Wisconsin (4-1)
When: Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004, 7:05 p.m.
Where: Kohl Center (17,142), Madison, Wis.
Broadcasts: The game will be televised on tape delay at 11 p.m. by Wisconsin Public Television and will be broadcast live on the radio on the 46-city Wisconsin Radio Network.
Series Notes: This will be the 11th meeting between the two teams. UW has won all 10 previous contests, including all eight in Madison.

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