By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The No. 10/10 Green Bay (28-1, 17-1 HL) women's basketball team looks to take another step in postseason play as it hosts No. 4 seed UIC (18-12, 10-18 HL) Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Horizon League Championship semifinal at the Kress Events Center.
Green Bay advanced to the semifinals with a 77-53 win over No. 9 seed Valparaiso in Wednesday's quarterfinal game while UIC comes to Green Bay after a 66-53 win over No. 5 seed Butler in its quarterfinal battle.
Friday's game marks the seventh time UIC and Green Bay will meet in Horizon League postseason play with Green Bay owning an overall record of 5-1. The semifinal contest will be the first time reigning Horizon League Coach of the Year Matt Bollant leads the Phoenix against the Flames in the postseason.
Under Bollant, Green Bay is 9-2 in Horizon League Championship play, winning two titles (2009 and 2011). Green Bay has won 11 conference tournament titles, 10 in the Horizon League.
DEFENSIVE BATTLE... Friday's game will feature two of the league's top defenders in Green Bay's Julie Wojta and UIC's Jasmine Bailey who were both named to the postseason All-Defensive Team with Wojta earning Defensive Player of the Year honors. Wojta leads the league with 3.6 steals per contest while Bailey is fourth, averaging 2.5 picks per game.
As a team, Green Bay ranks atop the league in scoring defense, holding opponents to an average of 54.8 points per game. UIC is third holding its opponents to an average 58.7 points. The Flames rank first in the battle on the boards, outrebounding its opponents a league-best 6.0 boards per game.
REGULAR SEASON REWIND... Green Bay and UIC were the bookends of Horizon League regular season play with the Phoenix outscoring the Flames an average of 15 points, pouring in 78.5 points per contest. First Team All-League selection Jasmine Bailey led the series in scoring, pouring in a combined 42 points while leading UIC with 17 rebounds. Horizon League Player of the Year, Julie Wojta, led the Phoenix with 41 points and led the battle on the boards with 25 in the 2011-12 series.
POSTSEASON ACCOLADES... Winning its 14th consecutive regular season conference title, the nation's longest active streak, Green Bay topped Horizon League postseason honors, bringing home six awards.
For the second consecutive season, a Green Bay women's basketball player earned Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors as Wojta claimed both awards. Wojta was also a First Team All-League and All-League Defensive Team selection.
Wojta is the eighth player in Green Bay history to earn Horizon League Player of the Year honors and second to be recognized as the Defensive Player of the Year but first to have sole possession of both honors in the same season.
Junior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) earned her first postseason accolade as a Second Team All-League selection while fifth-year head coach Matt Bollant earned his second consecutive and fourth Coach of the Year honor.
WOJTA THE WARRIOR... Wojta has had a record regular season with the Phoenix, moving into the top 10 in nine statistical categories on Green Bay's individual career record list. The Horizon League Player and Defensive Player of the year ranks fifth in scoring with 1,566 career points, sixth with 266 steals, 807 rebounds and 614 field goals made, seventh in both free throws made (279) and attempted (347) eighth with 1,226 field goals attempted, and ninth with 368 assists.
In Green Bay's quarterfinal game against Valpo, Wojta's game high six steals put her atop the individual season record list with 105 steals.
In addition to earning Horizon League Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All-League and All-Defensive Team honors, Wojta was recently named to the John R. Wooden Finalist ballot, is a midseason addition to the Wade Trophy watch list, Naismith midseason 32 watch list, and Capital One Academic All-America Second Team selection.
DON'T FORGET ABOUT US... Wojta is not the only player to write her name in Green Bay's record book this season. Second Team All-League selection Adrian Ritchie is in eighth on the individual career record list with 121 made three point field goals and sixth with 335 three point field goal attempts. Classmate Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) is seventh on the individual season record list with 143 three-point field goals attempted while Ritchie is tied for 10th with 134 attempts beyond the arc. Friday's game will be the 124th contest senior Hannah Quilling (Eau Claire, Wis.) will put on a Phoenix uniform which ranks tied for seventh on Green Bay's individual career record list.
FOLLOW IT LIVE... Fans can follow a live video stream of Friday's semifinal games on horizonleague.org here. To track live stats, click here. Green Bay's contest against No. 4 seed UIC will also be broadcast live on Time Warner Sports32 with Jim Barbar and Brian Nicol with the call.
Ticket packages for the women's Horizon League Championship are currently on sale with the Green Bay ticket office. For more information or to purchase, click here. The Green Bay ticket office in the Kress Center will be open throughout the tournament, with hours as follows: Thursday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.-approximately 10 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Fans can also order tickets by phone by calling 920.465.2625 on Thursday from 8 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix and @gbphoenixwbb.