Green Bay Phoenix

Tod Kowalczyk
Associated Press

VIDEO: Toledo’s Sanford caps scramble with game-winning three

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While many were occupied with the various NFL games, Toledo and Green Bay were locked up in a tight contest that was decided by a freshman who had yet to hit a shot.

After a missed layup and scramble for the loose ball Toledo freshman Jaelan Sanford, who had missed both of his shot attempts from the field, wound up with the ball as the final seconds ran off the clock. No problem for Sanford, who released a three-pointer from the left wing that went down as time expired. Final score: Toledo 71, Green Bay 69.

Even though the game-winner was Sanford’s first made shot of the game he’s a more than capable scorer, as he left Reitz HS in Evansville, Indiana as the school’s all-time leading scorer (1,544 points).

His shot against the Phoenix put the finishing touches on a Toledo comeback from a six-point deficit in the final two minutes and thirty seconds, with Nathan Boothe (27 points, nine rebounds and three blocks) and Jonathan Williams (26 points) leading the way offensively for Tod Kowalcyzk’s team.

Video credit: Jordan Strack/WTOL-11

Green Bay lands transfer forward from Pepperdine

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Green Bay landed a former in-state forward as Pepperdine rising junior David Jesperson transferred to the Phoenix, according to Mark Miller of the Wisconsin Basketball Yearbook.

The 6-foot-8 Jesperson is from Merrill, Wisconsin and averaged 11.1 minutes per game as a sophomore. Putting up 1.8 points and 1.7 rebounds per game, Jesperson shot 52 percent from the field last season, but wasn’t regularly productive in his minutes.

By playing closer to home in the Horizon League, Jesperson gets to sit out next season due to NCAA transfer rules and he’ll have two more years of eligibility after that. The younger brother of Northern Iowa forward Paul Jesperson, David can stretch the floor a little bit at his size and could be a useful role player in that capacity for Green Bay.

Pregame Shootaround: Horizon League heavyweights meet in Green Bay

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GAME OF THE NIGHT: Cleveland State at Green Bay, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN2)

There are just seven games on the schedule tonight, and there’s no doubt that the battle between the Vikings and Phoenix is the best matchup. Both enter the game with 10-3 records in Horizon League play, and the winner will keep alive hopes of catching 11-2 Valparaiso. That can be important, as the regular season champion gets to host the second round and semifinals with the highest remaining seed hosting the title game. Cleveland State won the first meeting January 31, holding serve at home thanks to the tandem of guard Trey Lewis and forward Anton Grady.

Lewis accounted for 25 points and 12 rebounds on that night, with Grady adding 24 points and six rebounds. Slowing those two down will be critical for Green Bay, as their production was a big reason why Cleveland State shot 56.8% from the field. Another key in that game: Gary Water’s Vikings outscored Green Bay 21-6 from the foul line. Keifer Sykes was limited to 11 points in that game, and he finished with more turnovers (two) than assists (one). That can’t be the case in the rematch.

THIS SHOULD ALSO BE GOOD: Cornell at Yale, 7:00 p.m.

Yale (7-1) is currently tied with Harvard atop the Ivy League standings, with the Crimson hosting Penn in Cambridge. Of the two opponents the first-place teams face Cornell’s the greater threat, thanks to the presence of senior forward Shonn Miller. Miller (16.1 ppg, 8.3 rpg) currently leads Cornell in both scoring and rebounding, and his matchup with Yale’s Justin Sears will be worth the price of admission. Yale was able to keep Miller in check in the first meeting, a seven-point Bulldog victory, as he scored 15 points on 6-for-20 shooting to go along with 11 rebounds.

TWO THINGS TO WATCH FOR

1. Iona looks to move one step close to another MAAC regular season title, as they visit Marist (9:00 p.m., ESPNU). The Gaels have won eight straight games, thanks to a prolific offense and improved play on the defensive end.

2. Albany dropped its first conference game of the season on Monday, but thanks to Vermont’s stunning loss at Binghamton they still lead America East by two games. The Great Danes host Hartford (7:00 p.m., ESPNU), and a win would wrap up at least a share of the regular season title.

THE REST OF FRIDAY’S SCHEDULE

  • Princeton at Dartmouth, 7:00 p.m.
  • Penn at Harvard, 7:00 p.m. (ESPN3)
  • Columbia at Brown, 8:00 p.m.