Women's Basketball Wraps Up Non-Conference Play against Maine
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team will look to halt a four-game skid as it welcomes Maine in its final non-conference game of the 2013-14 season on Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Wednesday’s game marks the fourth all-time meeting and second meeting this season between the Phoenix and Black Bears. Green Bay leads the all-time series 2-1, including a 66-49 triumph earlier this season in Bangor (Nov. 30). Green Bay won the first-ever meeting in 1991 (58-57) while the Black Bears won the last meeting in Green Bay during the 2003 campaign (76-73).
Green Bay stands at 6-5 overall, most recently dropping a heartbreaking 65-61 overtime loss at Wisconsin on Monday. The Phoenix led by as many as 16 points in the first half before the Badgers closed the game on a 16-6 run over the final 5:01 to tie the game and send it to extra minutes. Green Bay scored the first four points of the overtime session, but the Badgers held the Phoenix scoreless over the final minute while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line to escape with the 65-61 triumph.
Sophomore Kaili Lukan (10.5 PPG) and senior Breannah Ranger (10.2) lead the Phoenix in scoring, while Ranger also leads the team in rebounding (7.2). Freshman Tesha Buck tops the team in assists (4.0), steals (2.2) and minutes played (32.5).
Maine comes into Wednesday’s game 6-6 overall and has lost four of its last five, including a close 76-75 defeat at Sacred Heart on Dec. 29. The Black Bears are led by a pair of double-figure scorers in Ashleigh Roberts (13.5) and Liz Wood (11.8). Roberts is shooting a team-best 49.6 percent from the field, while Wood leads the team in rebounds (7.4), assists (3.9) and steals (1.8). The Black Bears are averaging 63.2 points/game while shooting 42.4 percent from the floor and 33.8 percent from deep. The squad also averages 34.7 rebounds, 7.1 steals and 15.9 assists per game.
1. Unfamiliar Territory: The Phoenix has now lost four games in a row for the first time since the 2003-04 season, and three consecutive home game since the same season. Despite the losses Green Bay has seen this start before with a great turnaround: during the ‘03-04 season the team went on to win the Horizon League championship and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
2. Familiar Faces: Green Bay will face Maine for the second time this season as it welcomes the Black Bears to the Kress to start 2014. The last time the Phoenix won this season was against Maine as it took home the Maine Thanksgiving Tournament title with a 66-49 triumph over the hosts on Nov. 30. Senior Breannah Ranger had a career-high 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting en route to being named the tourney MVP.
3. Close, but not Enough: Out of the Phoenix’s five losses this year, all but one have come by slim margins of fewer than six points, including the last three decided by five or fewer points. Additionally in the four most recent defeats, Green Bay owned a least an eight-point lead at some point in the first half before going on to be outscored by a combined total of 138-103 in the second half.
4. Turnover Totals: Forcing turnovers while taking care of the ball has been a staple of the strong defensive play for the Phoenix under head coach Kevin Borseth. Green Bay currently averages 13.7 turnovers per game while forcing its competition into 20.4 turnovers per game, a differential of +6.7. Against Wisconsin the Phoenix had just nine turnovers, totaling single-digit TO’s for the third time this season.
5. Out of the Gates: Green Bay has set the tone early in its games, outscoring the opposition by a combined 101 points (354-253) in the first half. Having been outscored by an opponent in the first half on just two occasions this season (at Duquesne and vs. Wichita State), the Phoenix is 1-1 in those contests.
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