By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After holding the nation's second-leading scorer Shareeta Brown to just eight points in the win against Detroit on Tuesday, Green Bay (12-2, 2-0 HL) locked down another big-name player in a 71-44 win against Wright State (7-8, 1-1 HL) on Saturday afternoon. The Phoenix held Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kim Demmings to a career-low three points on 1-13 shooting while winning its seventh consecutive game and improving to 49-3 all-time against the Raiders.
"We played really well, and we have been playing very well. We need to make sure that every game we try to play with this same success rate," head coach Kevin Borseth said.
Wright State scored first to take an early 2-0 lead, but after tying the game at 2-2, Green Bay used three's on three consecutive possessions to build an 11-5 lead at the first media timeout. Senior Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) hit the first three of that streak en route to a game-high 13 first-half points. Eichler finished the game with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting, just two shy of tying her career-high 26 points set against Richmond on Nov. 24. Paced by Eichler, Green Bay made its first four attempts from long range on the day, finishing the game with a 47.1 percent mark from behind the arc.
Green Bay stretched the lead to 28-13 with 8:40 remaining in the first half, but neither team scored for nearly the next four minutes before senior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) stole the ball and found Eichler in transition for the score. From there, Green Bay closed the half on an 8-2 run, holding the Raiders scoreless for the final 2:56 of the half.
The Phoenix came out of the locker room with a deep three from senior Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.), and built on a 15-0 run that forced a Wright State timeout just two and a half minutes out of the break. With 16:09 remaining, redshirt junior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) drove the lane to push the lead to 30 at 47-17, the largest lead of the game to that point. Ranger finished with her first career double-double on 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Green Bay led by as many as 34 in a game that allowed all players to see at least five minutes on the court. Paced by Ranger and redshirt senior Jenny Gilberton (Wabasha, Minn.), who finished with seven points and four rebounds, the Phoenix bench contributed 24 points on the afternoon.
The win marks the 10th time this season the Phoenix has held an opponent under 50 points, and the second time this week Green Bay held a high-profile player below their average. Wright State's Demmings, who entered the game averaging 21.1 points per game after scoring 35 at Milwaukee on Thursday, was held to just three points and committed seven turnovers.
Green Bay's dominance in the paint continued as the Phoenix outscored the Raiders 36-8 in the paint. During the seven-game winning streak, Green Bay holds a 242-70 advantage against opponents in the paint.
Green Bay shot 43.3 percent from the field in the win, the sixth straight game the team has shot better than 40 percent. The Phoenix also used 22 assists on 26 field goals while limiting itself to just nine turnovers. Wright State committed 18 turnovers and grabbed just 29 rebounds to Green Bay's 41.
The Phoenix will play its next four games on the road,
starting next week when the team travels to battle Cleveland State on Thursday.
Green Bay will remain on the road for the weekend, closing out the week with a
matchup against Youngstown State.
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