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Kraker's 30 Points Helps Women's Basketball Run Past Detroit, 84-72

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: February 01, 2014
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By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)

DETROIT, Mich. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) — Led by a 30 point performance from freshman Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) the Green Bay women’s basketball team picked up its fourth consecutive Horizon League win as it ran past Detroit, 84-72, on Saturday afternoon at Calihan Hall.

Kraker finished with a career-high 30 points, nine rebounds and two steals to complete her strong play in the state of Michigan this weekend. She became the first Phoenix to have 30 points in a game since Julie Wojta did it against Wright State on Feb. 11, 2012 while also connecting on seven three’s for the first time since Adrian Ritchie did it a season ago against Valparaiso in the Horizon League Tournament.

“Detroit left a lot of our shooters open today,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “Mehryn had a great game and she could have done more if we would have found her a few more times in the first half. But Mehryn found the open spots, caused steals and that is what we needed today.”

Detroit netted the first points of the game before the Phoenix went on a 19-4 run to jump out to a 19-6 lead and force a Titans timeout with 13:11 remaining in the first half. Senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) had a fast break layup off a feed from freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) before Kraker went on a tear. Continuing her strong play from Thursday night in Oakland, Kraker scored the next 11 points for the Phoenix putting up three shots from deep in addition to a fastbreak layup off a steal she caused to put the Phoenix lead at 13-6. Three different Green Bay players closed out the run with two points apiece from Buck  and sisters Kaili and Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario).

However, Detroit senior Senee Shearer got the Titans back in the game as they went on a 14-3 run over the next 4:17 to cut the Phoenix advantage to four points, 22-18. Shearer had nine of the 14 points going a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc.

The Titans kept it close the remainder of the first half, not allowing the Phoenix to lead by more than seven points as Green Bay went into intermission with a 36-31 lead. Despite trailing, Detroit (40.0%) outshot Green Bay (30.6%) in the opening stanza, but the Phoenix held a 22-24 edge in rebounding.

A balanced attack by the Phoenix to open the second half put the game away, as the team went on a 12-2 run over 3:31 to assume a 15 point advantage, 48-33. Ranger started the second half like the first with a layup in the paint, and Kaili Lukan and Buck connected on back-to-back threes before Megan Lukan had consecutive points in the paint to put the lead back at double digits, where it remained the rest of the way as Green Bay cruised to the 84-72 win.

“We made some defensive adjustments at halftime and that really helped us control the Detroit shooters,” Borseth said.

Four Phoenix finished in double digit scoring, led by 30 from Kraker, 12 from Ranger, 11 by Kaili Lukan and 10 from sophomore Ellen Edison (Maple Grove, Minn.). Edison also dished out a career-best five assists while Megan Lukan tied a career high with 11 rebounds.

Green Bay finished the contest shooting 27-for-64 (42.2%) and had 21 assists on those baskets. The Phoenix also outrebounded Detroit 39-37 and had a 28-24 advantage in points in the paint.

“It was good to take both games in Michigan, but we are still taking this season one game at a time and not getting ahead of ourselves,” Borseth said.

Detroit was 26-for-61 (42.6%) from the field, receiving a team high 24 points from Tayelor McCalister. After posting 17 points in the first half, the Green Bay defense held Shearer to just three points in the second stanza.

Green Bay concludes its stretch of three games in five days on Monday, welcoming Valparaiso to the Kress Center at 7 p.m. Fans are encouraged to bring a new teddy bear to the game as a part of the Green Bay SAAC teddy bear drive for local hospitals.

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