Wisconsin Slips Past Green Bay in Overtime, 65-61
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – A late 16-6 second half surge capped by a long-range three-point shot from Wisconsin’s Nicole Bauman with under one second remaining tied the game before the Badgers completed the comeback in overtime to escape with a 65-61 triumph over the Phoenix on Monday evening at the Kohl Center.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak for the Phoenix (6-5) against the Badgers (7-5), and left the Phoenix winless in the month of December. Green Bay led by as many as 16 points in the first half and held on to a double-digit advantage down the stretch (49-39) before the Badgers outscored the Phoenix 16-6 over the final 5:01 to tie the game at 55 and send it to extra minutes.
Green Bay maintained a double-digit lead early in the second half, but the Badgers slowly chipped away at the advantage to pull to within single digits with under 13 minutes remaining. The Green Bay lead was as high as 14 points (38-24) with 15:11 on the clock before the Badgers used an 8-0 run to cut the lead to six points (38-32) with 12:04 remaining.
However, the Phoenix responded and slowly built its advantage back to double digits. Freshman Mariah Monke (Fergus Falls, Minn.) layed in a basket to put the lead back at 12 points (49-37)with 7:10 remaining, but on the next possession the Badgers mounted their comeback. Wisconsin scored on its next five possessions during the run and completed the rally as Bauman banked in a three-point shot with 0.7 remaining to tie the game and send it to overtime.
Green Bay grabbed back the lead in overtime, scoring the first four points on a layup by senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) and a pair of free throws by junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) to jump out to a 59-55 lead. Wisconsin responded with the next four points to tie the game before assuming its first lead of the game (61-59) since it made the first basket of the game (19:17) at the 1:55 mark. The Phoenix again knotted the score (61-61) with a layup from freshman Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) with 1:36 remaining, but the Badgers held the Phoenix scoreless over the final minute while going a perfect 4-for-4 from the free throw line to escape with the 65-61 triumph.
It was a dominant first half for the Phoenix, leading by as many as 16 points in the opening stanza. All knotted at eight points with 12:58 showing on the clock in the first half, the Phoenix went on a 19-3 run over the next 9:37 to jump out to a 19-3 lead with 3:21 remaining. Back-to-back layups from Ranger jumpstarted the run, followed by a three from freshman Sam Terry (Baraboo, Wis.) and Ranger free throw for an 8-0 scoring spurt over 2:51 (16-8).
A Paige Morgan jumper ended the scoreless drought for the Badgers, but sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) and Ranger made the front end of a pair of free throws on consecutive possessions to keep the Green Bay lead at eight points, 18-10.
The Badgers made one more free throw before the Phoenix again controlled play with a quick 7-0 run to assume its largest lead of the half at 16 points (27-11) at the 3:21 mark. Wisconsin attempted to work its way back into the game with back-to-back three-point shots to pull to within 10 points (27-17), but the Phoenix held the Badgers at bay as it went into halftime with a 32-19 lead.
Green Bay shot just 31.3 percent (10-32) in the first half while the Badgers also struggled shooting 31.8 percent (7-22). The Phoenix dominated the boards (25-14) and paint (16-6) and also led in points off turnovers (12-1) and second chance points (9-0).
For the contest, the Phoenix finished shooting just 29.2 percent (19-65) while the Badgers picked it up in the second half to finish at 44.2 percent (23-52) for the game. Wisconsin finished the contest outrebounding Green Bay (43-38), but the Phoenix controlled almost every other statistical category including forcing the Badgers into 20 turnovers while only committing nine while tallying 12 steals compared to four for the Badgers. Green Bay also led points in the paint (32-20), points off turnovers (18-3) and second chance (15-6).
Ranger led the Phoenix with 15 points, while Megan Lukan had a double-double adding 10 points and a career- and game-high 11 rebounds. Kaili Lukan and Kraker finished with 12 points apiece. Michala Johnson had a game-high 22 points for the Badgers.
Green Bay plays its final non-conference game of the season on Wednesday as it welcomes Maine to the Kress Center at 1 p.m.
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