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Women's Basketball Rallies for Thrilling 68-60 Win at Duquesne

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: November 17, 2013
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By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)

PITTSBURGH, Pa. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Trailing by nine points with under eight minutes remaining, the Green Bay women’s basketball team battled back to outscore host Duquesne 23-6 down the stretch to rally for a 68-60 win in Pittsburgh on Sunday afternoon at the A.J. Palumbo Center.

Down by as many as nine points (54-45) with 7:42 remaining in the contest, the Phoenix used a big 11-0 run over 4:20 to grab back the lead, 56-54, with 3:42 remaining. Starting with a pair of free throws from senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.), the run ended with two layups also by Ranger to give the Phoenix its first lead since the 15:54 mark of the second half. A Megan Lukan layup added to the lead, 58-54, and Green Bay limited the Dukes to just one field goal while shooting 10-for-14 from the line to secure the 68-60 non-conference win.

Recouping from a first half free throw shooting percentage of 33.3 percent (4-12) the Phoenix were 75 percent (18-24) shooters in the second half, including a 6-for-8 showing from sophomore  Kaili Lukan and a perfect 4-for-4 performance by senior Sam Zastrow (Algoma, Wis.) over the final 1:18 to keep the Phoenix in the lead.   

“We were down by nine with seven minutes remaining and I told the kids, a lot can happen in seven minutes,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “We turned up the intensity defensively, got some big steals and made key free throws down the stretch, and that was key for us in the win.”

In the first half, the Dukes led by as many as 10 points (18-8) midway through, but the Phoenix chipped away at the lead. A 20-10 scoring advantage over10:22 eventually tied the game at 28 with 1:23 remaining in the first half. Freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) started the run with a three, and after Megan Lukan was fouled and made the front end of a pair of free throw, sophomore Ellen Edison (Maple Grove, Minn.) connected on a three and was fouled on the shot for the four-point play to get the Phoenix back to within four points, 20-16, with 8:04 on the clock.

Duquesne built its advantage back to six points, 27-21, with 3:12 remaining before the Phoenix capitalized on a 7-1 scoring run highlighted by a layup and-one from Edison, a Buck layup and finally a Mariah Monke (Fergus Falls, Minn.) layup to knot the game at 28. However, the Dukes went 3-for-4 from the free throw line down the stretch, while the Phoenix went 1-for-2 to give the home team a 31-29 lead at the break.

Green Bay went into halftime shooting 43.5 percent (10-23) from the field and 38.5 percent (5-13) from three compared to 36.4 percent (8-22) from the field and 22.2 percent (2-9) from deep for the Dukes. The difference in the half came at the free throw line where Duquesne shot 76.5 percent (13-17) compared to the Phoenix shooting just 33.3 percent (4-12).

The second half opened with a Monke layup to tie the game at 31-31, and the Phoenix offense kept clicking as it took the lead, 37-36, with 15:54 remaining on a Ranger layup. Despite taking the lead, the momentum swung in favor of Duquesne as the Dukes went on a 12-2 scoring run to jump out to a 48-39 advantage, forcing Green Bay to call a timeout with 10:01 remaining. Green Bay’s lone points during the run came on a pair of free throws by Ranger, and the Phoenix wouldn’t score another field goal until the 9:21 mark on a layup from Megan Lukan. The Dukes held the momentum before a resilient Green Bay squad came storming back, setting up the late game dramatics.

It was a career day for several Phoenix, as Ranger finished with her second double-double of the season, totaling 12 points and tying a career-high 11 rebounds. Kaili Lukan tied a career-best with 13 points, Edison finished with a career high 13 points and Buck set a career-high with seven assists in addition to tying her career-high in points (11) and rebounds (5).

As a team, the Phoenix finished the game shooting 46.5 percent (20-43) from the field with 16 assists. Green Bay also forced Duquesne into 22 turnovers compared to just 17 for itself, and also had an advantage in steals, 9-8.

Green Bay returns to action next Friday in game one of the TD Bank Classic, hosted by the University of Vermont. The Phoenix will tip against Siena at 4 p.m.

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INSIDE MEN'S BASKETBALL
SCHEDULE
Tuesday , November 01
Men's Basketball 
vs. Indiana Tech (Exhibition)
7:00 PM
RESCH CENTER
 
Saturday , November 12
Men's Basketball 
vs. Northland College
12:00 PM
RESCH CENTER
ESPN3  
Tuesday , November 15
Men's Basketball 
at Pacific
1:00 AM
Stockton, Calif. (Spanos Center)
ESPN2  
Saturday , November 19
Men's Basketball 
at Murray State
6:00 PM
Bowling Green, Ohio (Stroh Center)
 
Sunday , November 20
Men's Basketball 
at Bowling Green
5:00 PM
Bowling Green, Ohio (Stroh Center)
ESPN3  
Monday , November 21
Men's Basketball 
at UMKC
3:00 PM
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Saturday , November 26
Men's Basketball 
vs. Central Michigan (Pepsi Replica Banner Giveaway)
2:00 PM
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Wednesday, November 30
Men's Basketball 
at Kansas State
7:00 PM
Manhattan, Kan. (Bramlage Coliseum)
ESPN3 / Fox Sports Kansas City  
Saturday , December 03
Men's Basketball 
at Toledo
6:00 PM
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Tuesday , December 06
Men's Basketball 
at Central Michigan
6:00 PM
Mount Pleasant, Mich. (McGuirk Arena)
 
Wednesday, December 14
Men's Basketball 
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8:00 PM
Madison, Wis. (Kohl Center)
Big Ten Network  
Saturday , December 17
Men's Basketball 
vs. Belmont
4:30 PM
RESCH CENTER
 
Monday , December 19
Men's Basketball 
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7:00 PM
RESCH CENTER
 
Thursday , December 22
Men's Basketball 
vs. Saint Mary's (MN)
7:00 PM
RESCH CENTER
 
Thursday , December 29
Men's Basketball 
at Cleveland State
6:00 PM
Cleveland, Ohio (Wolstein Center)
 
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