Slow Second Half Dooms Phoenix in 75-64 Loss to Milwaukee
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Entering halftime with the lead, the Green Bay women’s basketball team couldn’t contain a hot shooting Milwaukee squad as the Panthers opened the second stanza on a 14-3 run en route to topping the Phoenix 75-64 on Saturday afternoon at the Kress Center.
The loss halted a 17-game Phoenix winning streak against Milwaukee, leaving the Phoenix at 8-6 overall and 1-1 in the Horizon League. The Panthers improved to 5-9 overall and 1-0 in league action.
Despite the loss sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) finished with a game- and career-high 25 points, recording 20+ points in two consecutive contests. Senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) finished with her fourth double-double of the season, registering 13 points and 10 rebounds.
Green Bay scored the first points of the game, opening on an 8-0 run before Milwaukee called a timeout just under three minutes in. Junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) collected the opening tip for the Phoenix and took it down the court where she found sister Kaili for a quick basket and 2-0 lead. Scores by senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.), Kaili Lukan and freshman Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) put the lead at 8-0.
With the Phoenix continuing to lead by five points (13-8) at the 14:45 mark, Milwaukee pulled to within a point (14-13) with 13:32 remaining. Using a 13-6 run the Panthers found their groove from deep, connecting on three three’s during the run. However the Phoenix countered with a run of its own, this time a 10-2 streak to put the lead back at nine points (24-15) with 9:29 remaining. Four different players scored by the run capped off by three free throws from Ellen Edison (Maple Grove, Minn.) as she was fouled on a shot from deep.
The Phoenix continued to build its advantage, leading by as many as 12 points (37-25) in the closing minutes before going into intermission with a 37-28 advantage.
Leading 37-28 at the half, the Panthers opened the second stanza on an 11-0 run to take its first lead of the game, 39-37, at 17:19.
Green Bay shot 45.2 percent (14-31) in the first half, while the Panthers went 40.0 percent (10-25). However, Milwaukee was a cool 46.2 percent (6-13) from deep, while the Phoenix was limited to 14.3 percent (2-14) from beyond the arc. Green Bay held its own in the paint, outscoring the Panthers 24-4.
Milwaukee closed the opening half with a three by Angela Rodrigues and picked up right where it left off to start the second stanza as Rodriguez, Sydney Snower and Bre’Zall Warren sunk back-to-back-to-back three point shots to tie the game at 37-37 with 17:53 on the clock.
Green Bay missed the shot on its next possession and Milwaukee received a pair of free throws on its return trip down the court as Avyanna Young sunk both attempts to give the Panthers their first lead of the contest, 39-39, a lead they wouldn’t relinquish the rest of the way. Milwaukee led by as many as 14 points in the second half en route to the 75-64 triumph.
Milwaukee shot an impressive 50.0 percent (13-26) from deep in the game and finished the contest shooting 46.0 percent (23-50) from the field. Green Bay was just 12.5 percent (4-32) from deep and 38.3 percent (23-60) overall. The Phoenix also controlled the boards, 41-33, and had a 34-16 edge in paint points.
Milwaukee had four players record double-digit scoring, led by 23 points from Angela Rodriguez. Avyanna Young finished with a double-double, adding 12 points and 13 rebounds.
Green Bay now takes to the road, traveling to Ohio to face Youngstown State and Cleveland State next week.
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