By Justin Grones
MOUNT PLEASANT, MICH. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Despite a 26-18 halftime lead and holding the Chippewas to 0-for-11 shooting from long range in the first half, the Green Bay women's basketball team (5-2) couldn't hold off a second half Central Michigan (3-4) charge, falling on the road 54-50. The Chippewas shot 52 percent and 60 percent from long range in the second half after shooting just 29.6 percent from the floor and 0-for-11 from long range in the opening frame.
"We had plenty of opportunities to win this game and did a great job not turning the ball over, but we just couldn't find a way to finish," said head coach Kevin Borseth.
Senior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) paced all scorers in the first half with 10 points. The recent 1,000-point club newcomer drilled two shots from long range early on to help Green Bay lead by as many as 13 in the first half. Ritchie finished with 20 points, nine rebounds and three assists-all team highs-before fouling out in the closing seconds of the game.
After abysmal shooting from long range in the first half, Central Michigan opened the second half on an 18-4 run to take a 36-30 lead. Green Bay struggled to make shots fall, hitting just one of 12 attempts from long range and was just 5-for-11 from the free throw line in the second half.
With three lead changes in the final three minutes, the Phoenix was forced to send the Chippewas to the line late in the game, giving the home team a four-point advantage it wouldn't concede in the final seconds of the contest.
"We had some chances to finish late in the game, but we didn't make anything happen when we went to the basket, and we need to do a better job of converting from the free throw line," Borseth said.
Sophomore Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario, Canada) finished with seven points and a game-high four steals while playing all 40 minutes. Lukan also committed just one turnover while facing a stiff full-court defense for nearly the entire game.
Green Bay will travel to Milwaukee on Saturday to take on Marquette. Tipoff is set for 2:05 p.m., with the game being televised on Time Warner Cable's Sports32.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.