Green Bay Hosts Bonnies in Non-Conference Finale

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: January 04, 2013
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By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GreenBayPhoenix.com

GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Following a 63-42 win at Wichita State in the final non-conference road game of the season on Dec. 30, Green Bay (9-2) returns home to host St. Bonaventure (7-7) on Saturday, Jan. 5 at 2 p.m. The matchup will be the first all-time meeting between the two schools, which both found success in the 2012 NCAA Tournament with the Phoenix advancing to the second round and the Bonnies falling in the Sweet 16.

The win at Wichita State gave Green Bay its fourth-straight victory and marked the eighth time this season an opponent was held to 50 points or less. The Horizon League-leading Phoenix is allowing just 49.1 points per game and also boasts a league-best +15.1 scoring margin. Senior Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) scored a team-high 15 points in the win over the Shockers while missing just one shot from the field. As a team, Green Bay used 17 assists on 23 field goals and hit 77.8 percent from the field in the second half after shooting less than 30 percent in the first.

Green Bay also continued its streak of dominance in the paint while outscoring the Shockers 26-6 in the lane. Over the past four games the Phoenix has outscored opponents 136-40 in the paint, including a 64-12 advantage in the previous two wins against Wisconsin and at Wichita State.

St. Bonaventure travels to Green Bay for the first time following a 70-66 home loss to N.C. State on Dec. 30. The defeat was the first home loss for the Bonnies, who are 4-1 at home but a combined 3-6 in road and neutral games this season.

The matchup will mark the sixth time this season Green Bay has played an opponent that played in either the 2012 NCAA Tournament or the 2012 WNIT Tournament, with St. Bonaventure having the most success of these teams. The Bonnies received a No. 5 seed for the NCAA Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling to No. 1 seed and eventual tournament runner-up Notre Dame. A season after advancing to the Sweet 16, Green Bay made it to the second round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament before being edged in a close battle with No. 2 seed Kentucky.

Horizon League play will begin for the Phoenix on Tuesday, Jan. 8 when Detroit visits the Kress Center for the first time since the 2012 Horizon League Tournament Championship game, when the Phoenix defeated the Titans 66-53.

FOLLOW IT LIVE: Fans can listen live on Saturday as Bruce VandenPlas will have the call on WDUZ The Fan.com and 1400 AM. Live stats and live video will also be available for the game against St. Bonaventure. Be sure to follow @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones on Twitter for updates throughout the game.

HOME SWEET HOME: Saturday's game against St. Bonaventure kicks off a three-game homestand, the longest streak of home games through the first 11 games of the 2012-13 season. After finishing up non-conference play against the Bonnies, Green Bay will open Horizon League play hosting Detroit on Tuesday, Jan. 8, and Wright State on Saturday, Jan. 12.

EFFICIENT EICHLER: Senior Sarah Eichler continued her quest to 1,000 career points in the win at Wichita State recording 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. The Grafton, Wis. native is averaging 12.8 points per game, has scored 20 or more points on two occasions this season and is fourth in the Horizon League with a 41.9 3-point shooting percentage. Eichler needs 115 points to become the 31st member of the Green Bay women's basketball 1,000-point club, and would be the second player to do so this season following  fellow senior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) accomplishing this feat on Nov. 30.

THEY SHOOT, THEY SCORE: The Phoenix is shooting 45.1 percent from the field during its four-game winning streak, including a season-high 56.0 percent against North Dakota State on Dec. 18. After hitting less than 30 percent from the field in the first half at Wichita State, Green Bay connected on 14 of 18 attempts in the second half, good for a 77.8 percent mark.

NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: Green Bay opens Horizon League play on Tuesday, Jan. 8 in a rematch of the 2012 Horizon League Tournament Championship game. The Phoenix went 2-1 against the Titans last season, who were selected to finish second in the Horizon League preseason poll behind Green Bay this season. Wright State will pay a visit to Green Bay on Saturday, Dec. 12 to close out the homestand.

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

Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix , @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones.

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