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Women's Basketball Hosts Two Games this Weekend

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: February 20, 2014
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team will host a pair of important games this weekend as it takes on Cleveland State on Friday evening and Youngstown State on Sunday afternoon at the Kress Events Center. 

Fans can listen live to the both games 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. Live video of the games will be available online for free through the Horizon League Network.

Sunday’s game against Youngstown State also marks Green Bay’s annual PinkZone contest. Fans are encouraged to wear pink, and the Phoenix players will wear pink and green commemorative uniforms for the game.

In its sixth year at Green Bay, the Phoenix will host numerous special events including: 

-The first 500 youth fans will receive a replica pink jersey, courtesy of Prevea Health.

-The first 2,500 fans will receive a pink and green pompon, courtesy of Cellcom.

-Online jersey auction featuring five Phoenix jerseys. The auction is currently live on GreenBayPhoenix.com and will end at halftime of Sunday’s game. A table will be set up at the arena during both Friday and Sunday’s games to allow fans the opportunity to bid.

-Jersey raffle. Fans will also have the opportunity to purchase raffle tickets for the chance to win one of the remaining jerseys. Tickets will be sold until halftime, with the winners to be announced during the second half.

-Broadway Automotive Miracle Minute Dash for Cash. Taking place just before halftime, volunteers from local Sting Cancer Clubs and Prevea Health along with the Green Bay dance and spirit teams will make their way through the stands collecting donations. All amassed monies will be matched by Broadway Automotive up to $2,500. 

All funds raised will benefit the St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center’s Compassionate Care Fund, Harlan Humanitarian Fund and Childlife program in the Prevea Pediatric Hematology/Oncology Department. In addition to its $2,500 Dash for Cash matching donation, Broadway Automotive will also be donating $2,500 from its successful social media campaign to help raise awareness. 

A check presentation totaling all of the funds collected during the day will take place near the conclusion of the game. Over the past five years, the Phoenix has been able to raise $89,964.60 through the generosity of its fans. 

Looking at the Phoenix
Green Bay has won seven in a row after starting the Horizon League season 1-2, and now stands atop the conference standings at 8-2. The Phoenix will play four of its final six contests at the Kress Center, where it recently captured the 100th win in the history of the facility. Sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) continues to lead the team averaging 12.6 points per game, while senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) has a team best 7.0 rebounds per game.

Scouting Cleveland State
Friday’s contest marks the 60th all-time meeting between Green Bay and Cleveland State, with the Phoenix leading the all-time series 54-5. Green Bay has won the last seven meetings dating back to the 2009-10 season. The Vikings have won five games against the Phoenix, with three of those wins coming in Green Bay including their last win of the series, an 83-75 overtime triumph in the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament in 2010. The Phoenix took the first meeting this season, 90-72, in Cleveland.

Cleveland State comes into Friday’s contest with an overall record of 13-11 and stands in second place in the conference standings with an 8-3 mark. The Vikings have put together five consecutive wins, including a 79-74 triumph over Detroit last Saturday in which the team made a program record 17 three-point baskets. Cleveland State has the second-highest offensive production in the conference this season (75.8) but ranks fifth in scoring defense (75.3), outscoring the opposition by a slim +0.5 margin. They are also the best shooting team in the conference overall (43.1%) and from long range (36.4%). The Vikings have three of the top 10 scorers in the conference, led by Imani Gordon (17.0), Cori Coleman (15.4) and Kiersten Green (15.1), while Gordon also stands second in the HL in rebounding (9.4).

Scouting Youngstown State
Sunday’s contest marks the 32nd all-time meeting between Green Bay and Youngstown State, with the Phoenix leading the all-time series 29-2. Green Bay had won 16 consecutive contests against its opponent before the Penguins snapped the winning streak with a 57-66 triumph on their home court earlier this season. However, since that loss, the Phoenix has rattled off seven consecutive wins to stand atop the Horizon League standings. 

Youngstown State entered the weekend with an overall record of 11-12 and 7-3 in the Horizon League, and will face Milwaukee on Friday before making the trip to Green Bay. The Penguins started conference play a perfect 6-0 but has since gone 1-3, most recently snapping a three game skid with an 84-56 win over Valparaiso. Junior Heidi Schlegel leads the team averaging 19.5 points, 7.9 rebounds and 0.9 steals per game while senior Liz Hornberger has a team leading 3.7 assists per game. As a team, the Penguins have the second-best three-point field goal percentage in the conference, shooting 34.7 percent (176-507) from long range. It also has the best three-point defense, limiting its opponents to 28.7 percent (154-536) from deep.

STARTING FIVE

1. Stat Stuffers: Seeing diversity from its top players this season, Green Bay currently boasts two of just three players that rank among the conference leaders in four statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists and steals. Junior Megan Lukan (9.7 pts., 5.3 reb., 4.2 ast., 1.6 stl.) and freshman Tesha Buck (10.0 pts., 5.3 reb., 4.1 ast., 1.7 stl.) join Oakland sophomore Elena Popkey as the only individuals ranked in each of the aforementioned categories. 

2. Helping Hand: As a team, Green Bay currently leads the conference averaging 16.2 assists per game with a 1.1 assist/turnover ratio. The team’s distribution has improved steadily over the conference season, where Green Bay has dished out 173 assists on 257 made baskets in 10 contests. The Phoenix has also recorded 20 or more helpers in four of the last six contests including 22 a week ago at Milwaukee. 

3. Sharp Shooter: Serving as the senior leader for the Phoenix this season, Breannah Ranger has stepped up her play during the Horizon League season. In 10 conference games Ranger is shooting a conference-best 63.2 percent (43-68) from the field while averaging 10.1 points and 6.4 rebounds per game. She has shot over 50.0 percent in all but two of those games and recorded double-digit point efforts in six contests. 

4. Freshman Sensation: Freshman Tesha Buck is making quite an impact in her first season with the Phoenix. Buck is just the second true freshman to start for the Phoenix since 1998, joining Sarah Eichler (2009) on the list. Named the Horizon League Freshman of the Week on three occasions this season, Buck has already surpassed her predecessor’s numbers from her freshman campaign in every category but steals, posting 220 points (186), 116 rebounds (88), 90 assists (47), eight blocks (2) and 38 steals (40). 

5. Diverse Options: Green Bay has utilized its bench to its advantage this season. All 12 players on the roster have appeared in at least one game and have at least one point, including a season-high 54 on Nov. 29 in a win over William and Mary and 35 points last Saturday at UIC. Against Valparaiso on Feb. 3, all 12 Phoenix finished with at least one point in the contest, giving Green Bay its seventh game of the season where 10 or more players helped achieve the feat. The Phoenix follwed that with 35 bench points against UIC, with freshman Sam Terry posting a team-best 19 points coming off the bench. This season, seven different players have led the team in scoring. 

For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com

Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix and @GBPhoenixWBB.

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