Women's Basketball Preview vs Valparaiso - January 17, 2017
CATCH THE ACTION: January 17, 2017
Matchup: Green Bay Phoenix (15-2, 6-0) vs Valparaiso Crusaders (5-12, 0-6) - 7 p.m. CT
Where to Watch: ESPN3
Where to Listen: WNFL 1440 AM & 101.9 FM
Where to Follow: Statbroadcast Live Stats
All-Time Series: Green Bay leads, 36-4
Program Cover: Anna Dier
Game Promotions: Cellcom Tote Bag Giveaway / Cellcom Food Drive: The first 500 fans to donate a non-perishable food item will receive a tote bag, courtesy Cellcom.
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixwbb
In last week’s matchup with Oakland, Green Bay knew it was welcoming the highest scoring offense in the Horizon League to the friendly confines of the Kress Center. The Phoenix made it clear on Friday night what its game plan was for the matchup. Score more. Green Bay poured in a season-high 89 points on the Golden Grizzlies, all while holding them to 47 points, their lowest mark of the season. The combination of Mehryn Kraker (29 points) and Allie LeClaire (24 points) combined for 53 points, as both of the Phoenix starters turned in season highs. In addition, they did so in an extremely efficient manner and finished a combined 22-of-27 from the field.
Green Bay and Valparaiso have taken the floor against one another 40 times, with their earliest matchup dating back to December 9, 1986 and ending in a 97-65 Phoenix victory. Of the 40 meetings, Green Bay has claimed 36 wins and has won 21-straight games. The last time Valparaiso defeated Green Bay was on January 19, 2008 in overtime, 90-88. The Crusaders have never defeated the Phoenix at the Kress Events Center.
After leading the team to a pair of victories last week, Mehryn Kraker was named the Horizon League Player of the Week for the second time this season, as announced by the league office on Monday afternoon. Kraker led the Phoenix in scoring in both games last week, but she truly shined in Green Bay’s victory over Oakland. The Wisconsin native scored a season-high 29 points and shot an impressive 12-of-15 clip from the field. Kraker also moved into eighth place on Green Bay’s all-time scoring list with 1,415 career points following the performance.
The combination of Mehryn Kraker, Jessica Lindstrom and Allie LeClaire have accounted for 61% of the Phoenix scoring this season. In addition, one of the three has led Green Bay in scoring in each of the 17 games this year. Kraker leads the team with 19.1 PPG followed closely by Allie LeClaire and Jessica Lindstrom with 11.9 PPG and 10.8 PPG, respectively. All three of them also rank inside the Horizon League’s top 20 in scoring.
LEANING ON LECLAIRE
Allie LeClaire has made it clear this season that she is someone that the Phoenix can rely on in crunch time. The junior ranks second on the team in scoring with 11.9 PPG and is shooting 50% (75-150) on the year. In league play, LeClaire's production has been even better, as she averages 12.5 PPG and is shooting 58.3% from the field and a team-high 52.4% from three-point range.
Senior Mehryn Kraker has scored in double digits in 28 of the past 30 games and currently ranks 8th on Green Bay’s all-time scoring list. Kraker, who has accumulated 1,415 career points with the Phoenix, is just 10 points behind Celeste Hoewisch for seventh place in program history. The redshirt senior is also nearing the top of the all-time three-pointers made list, currently ranking second with 193 made in her career. The program’s all-time leader is Adrian Ritchie with 196.
LOCKING IT DOWN
Despite playing what is considered one of the more challenging non-conference schedules in the nation, Green Bay has been able to lock its opponents down defensively. As of Jan. 16, the Phoenix ranked second in the nation in scoring defense, allowing a lowly 49.1 points per game. The top statistical defense in the country is owned by Campbell, who allows only 46.3 points per game. During the first six games of the conference season, the Phoenix defense is surrendering an average of only 47.2 points per game to its opponents.
COUNTING ON KRAKER
Redshirt graduate Mehryn Kraker has played a pivotal role for the Phoenix thus far in the 2016-17 campaign, as the guard leads Green Bay in PPG (19.1) and APG (3.9). In addition, she ranks first on the team in field-goal percentage with 57.9% (121-209) and has led the Phoenix in scoring in 13 games this season, seven of which were 20-point efforts. Kraker has also scored in double digits in 28 of the past 30 games. Through the first six league games, Kraker is averaging 22.7 PPG and is shooting 61.9% from the floor, both of which lead the team.
LINDSTROM LEADING THE WAY
Junior Jessica Lindstrom has been on fire in the 2016-17 campaign, averaging 10.8 PPG and 10.6 RPG. The forward has eight double-doubles through 17 games, with one of her most impressive coming at No. 1 Notre Dame, where she scored a then-career-high 20 points and grabbed 16 rebounds. She has also claimed three Horizon League Player of the Week awards given out this season.
Green Bay entered the Horizon League slate with a 9-2 overall record, the best in the conference. The Phoenix ranked 10th as of Dec. 23 in NCAA RPI, more than 130 spots ahead of the next Horizon League program, as Milwaukee came in at the 145th spot. Green Bay has also notched wins over 2016 NCAA Tournament participants Belmont, Chattanooga and South Dakota State in its hot start to the season. The Phoenix enters league play receiving votes in both the AP Poll and USA Today Coaches Poll.
MOTOR CITY MADNESS TICKETS ON SALE
All tickets for the 2017 Little Caesars Horizon League Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship at Joe Louis Arena went are now on sale. Fans can purchase tickets at MotorCityMadness.HorizonLeague.com/tickets, the Joe Louis Arena Box Office, or the Joe Louis Arena Ticket Sales and Service Office at 313-471-7575. With tickets starting at $15 per day, the annual conference championship set to take place March 3-7 will feature all 20 teams playing in 18 games during a five-day span in Detroit. Starting at $45, all-session tickets will cover all 18 games of the tournament. Fans can purchase school fan section tickets until March 1 by visiting MotorCityMadness.HorizonLeague.com/tickets and clicking on the appropriate school link.
LEAGUE OPENER SUCCESS
Since joining the Horizon League in the 2001-02 season, the Phoenix is a perfect 16-0 in its league openers. In fact, heading all the way back to the 1988-89 season under head coach Carol Hammerle, Green Bay is a perfect 29-0 in conference openers. The last time the Phoenix lost its first conference matchup was in the 1983-84 season, when Green Bay fell 67-64 to UW-La Crosse.
TAKING ON THE TOP
The Green Bay Phoenix traveled to South Bend, Ind., on Nov. 17 for its semifinal matchup with No. 1 Notre Dame. The Phoenix did not back down from the challenge, taking the top-ranked Fighting Irish team down to the wire, 71-67. It was just the second time since 2009-10 season that an unranked team came within 4 points of Notre Dame in South Bend.
The Green Bay women’s basketball team is 10-0 dating back to the 2014-15 season after a loss. In fact, the Phoenix has not dropped back-to-back games since the 2013-14 season when Green Bay lost to Wright State in the Horizon League Tournament Championship and then lost to Minnesota in the first round of the WNIT.
THE PRESEASON WNIT
Green Bay made its first appearance in the Preseason WNIT this season, defeating Elon, 71-56, in Round One. Senior Mehryn Kraker scored 22 points in the victory on an 8-for-14 shooting night to lead all scorers. Jessica Lindstrom picked up right where she left off a season ago, recording a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Green Bay then faced Little Rock and defeated the Trojans 57-31. Lindstrom led all scorers with 15 points and pulled down 9 rebounds, just one shy of her second-straight double-double. The Phoenix then traveled to South Bend, Ind., to face Notre Dame and almost pulled off the upset, 71-67. Lindstrom was named to the Preseason WNIT All-Tournament team after scoring 47 points, pulling down 37 rebounds, blocking four shots and shooting 62.5% through three games.
AN EARLY LOOK AT THE LEAGUE
For the ninth-consecutive year, the Green Bay women’s basketball team will enter the season as the Horizon League preseason favorite, as announced by the league office during its media day event on Wednesday. Receiving individual recognition for the Phoenix was senior Mehryn Kraker (First-Team All-Horizon League), junior Jessica Lindstrom (Second-Team All-Horizon League) and junior Allie LeClaire (Second-Team All-Horizon League).
Green Bay has posted 39-consecutive winning seasons, trailing only Tennessee (43) in active winning season streaks, including 18-straight Horizon League titles and 17 consecutive 20-plus win seasons dating back to 1999-00. The Phoenix ranked 9th nationally in scoring defense at 52.2 ppg in 2015-16, before securing its 16th NCAA Tournament appearance.
CONTINUING THE RISE
Green Bay has proven itself as one of the premiere programs in the realm of women’s college basketball. In the 2015-16 season, the Phoenix collected its 18-straight regular-season conference championship and 16 NCAA tournament berth. The program was ranked in the top 30 nationally in numerous statistical categories: Scoring defense (9th), scoring margin (18th), turnover margin (25th), three-pointers per game (28th) and field-goal percentage defense (30th).
BORSETH INKS TWO-YEAR EXTENSION
Green Bay and head women’s basketball coach Kevin Borseth have agreed to a contract extension through the 2020-21 season, Director of Athletics Mary Ellen Gillespie announced on Friday, October 14. Borseth, who recently led the Phoenix to its 18th-consecutive Horizon League title and 16th NCAA Tournament appearance, will be entering his 14th season overall at Green Bay and owns a winning percentage of .792 with the Phoenix.
WELCOME HOME, HANNAH
Head coach Kevin Borseth recently announced the hiring of former Phoenix standout Hannah Quilling-Iverson as the Director of Player Development for the Green Bay women’s basketball program. Quilling-Iverson’s role with the team will pertain to player management, program operations and assisting in the set up of on-campus recruiting and coordinating official and unofficial visits for potential recruits.
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