Women's Basketball Ready for Tilt Against Wright State
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team is ready for its lone Horizon League tilt of the week as it matches up with Wright State on Saturday at the Kress Center at 1 p.m.
Fans can listen live to the game on Green Bay's new radio partner, WNFL 1440 AM. The live audio with Bruce VandenPlas on the call will also be available for free via GreenBayPhoenix.com or on the Green Bay Phoenix App on IOS and Android devices. The game will be available online for free through the Horizon League Network.
Saturday’s contest marks the 54th all-time meeting between the two squads, with the Phoenix leading the series 50-3. Green Bay has won the last 23 matchups dating back to the 2003-04 season, and is a perfect 26-0 against the Raiders at home.
Standing at 9-7 overall and 2-2 in the Horizon League, Green Bay rebounded from two consecutive conference losses with a 90-72 win over Cleveland State Last Saturday. It tied the highest offensive output for the Phoenix this season, as the team shot 54.5 percent (30-55) from the field and 43.5 percent (10-23) from three while finishing with 22 assists on 30 field goals.
Sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) leads the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game. She has had three 20+ point performances in the last four Horizon League games and is averaging an impressive 19.5 points per game in conference action. Senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) has a team-best 7.1 rebounds per game, while junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) leads in assists (4.4) and freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) leads in steals (1.9).
Wright State enters the weekend second in the conference with a 4-1 mark while owning an overall record of 15-5. The Raiders most recently knocked off Milwaukee, 69-64, on Thursday evening. Down by six points early in the second half, a big 21-5 run for the Raiders proved to be the difference as the team picked up its second-consecutive win. Wright State is currently tops in the conference averaging 80.9 points per game, but is just fifth in scoring defense as its opponents average 73.8 points per game. Kim Demmings currently leads the conference averaging 21.0 points per game, while teammate Ivory James is seventh with an average of 17.1 points per game.
1. Sister, Sister: The play of the Lukan sisters, Kaili and Megan, has been key to the Phoenix early in the Horizon League season. The duo has combined for 44.8 percent (124-277) of Green Bay’s offensive production thus far, shooting 50.6 percent (45-89) from the field and 80.6 percent (29-36) from the free throw line. They have also dished out a combined 31 assists (31-59) and caused 13 steals (13-28) for the team.
2. Cool Hand Lukan: Sophomore Kaili Lukan has been making the most of her time on the court this season. Leading the team in scoring for the majority of the year, she has been the top Phoenix scorer in seven contests while posting double-digit efforts in 11 games, including five of the last six. Against Cleveland State last Saturday she finished with 23 points for her third 20+ point performance in four Horizon League games, and currently leads the team averaging 19.5 points in the four conference contests. The last Phoenix player to have three or more 20+ point performances during the Horizon League regular season was Julie Wojta who had seven in 2011-12.
3. Increased Productivity: Junior Megan Lukan has found her stride with the turn of the calendar to the conference season. Averaging 11.5 points and a team-best 8.3 rebounds in four Horizon League games, Lukan is improving on her totals of 9.7 points and 3.6 rebounds in 12 non-conference contests. Posting just six double-figure scoring games last season, Lukan has now accomplished that feat in 11 of Green Bay’s 16 games this season, including 10 or more points in eight of her last 10 games.
4. Turnover Totals: Ball security will be at a premium on Saturday as the Raiders and Phoenix, ranked number one and two in turnover margin among Horizon League teams, will meet at the Kress. Wright State currently leads the nation with a +10.2 turnover margin (22.7/12.5), the only team in the nation with a double-digit turnover ratio. The Raiders also lead the conference causing 10.3 steals per game with Tay’ler Mingo and Kim Demmings standing second and third in the conference with 2.2 and 2.1 steals per game, respectively. Meanwhile the Phoenix is second in the conference and 15th nationally with a +5.3 turnover ratio (19.4/14.4).
5. Home (Not So) Sweet Home: With six losses on the schedule this season, Green Bay is in unfamiliar territory with four of those coming at the Kress Center. Before this year the Phoenix had an overall record of 95-6 at the Kress Center (six seasons) and had never lost more than two games on its home court in a single season. It has been nearly two decades since the Phoenix lost more than four games at home in a year, last occurring during the 1992-93 campaign when it was 10-6.
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