By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Fresh off a three-game homestand sweep, the Green Bay women's basketball team (12-2, 2-0 HL) will travel to Cleveland to play its first of four straight road games in a battle with Cleveland State (10-5, 2-0 HL). The matchup will pit the top two teams in the Horizon League, and mark the first time this season the Phoenix plays a conference game away from the Kress Center.
Green Bay's defensive dominance continued as Horizon League play opened last week in wins against Detroit and Wright State. In the conference opener against Detroit, the Phoenix defense smothered the Titans and the nation's second-leading scorer Shareeta Brown, holding her well below her average of 26.0 points per game. Brown scored just eight points on 2-of-4 shooting as the Phoenix won 62-31, the second-fewest points an opponent has scored against Green Bay in nearly 30 years.
The Phoenix carried its strong defensive play into the matchup against Wright State and the Horizon League Preseason Player of the Year Kim Demmings, who scored 35 points just days prior in a win at Milwaukee. Green Bay held Demmings to a career-low three points on 1-of-13 shooting, and came away with a 71-44 victory over the Raiders. The win was the 10th time in 14 games this season the Phoenix has held an opponent under 50 points.
After starting the season losing four of the first five games, Cleveland State has won nine of its last 10 games to move into second place in the Horizon League standings. The Vikings are 7-1 at home this season, and are led by senior Shalonda Winton, who leads the nation in triple-doubles with two so far this season.
Green Bay will stay in Ohio for the rest of the week, battling Youngstown State on Saturday at 6:05 p.m. The Phoenix will hit the road again next week, with contests at Valparaiso and Wright State.
INSIDE THE SERIES: Green Bay is 51-5 all-time against Cleveland State, with the first meeting held during the 1988-89 season. In his first tenure leading the Phoenix, head coach Kevin Borseth compiled a 19-2 record against the Vikings.
Jan. 19, 1989
Green Bay hosts Cleveland State at the Phoenix Sports Center for the first all-time meeting against the Vikings. Green Bay would go on to win the next 19 matchups in the series.
Jan. 9, 1992
Green Bay's offensive has an explosive day as the team defeats Cleveland State 112-77. The game goes down in history as the most points the Phoenix has ever scored in a game in a record that still stands today.
Feb. 15, 1997
Cleveland State defeats Green Bay for the first time, the only time the Phoenix would fall to the Vikings under legendary head coach Carol Hammerle.
Jan. 16, 1999
In his first season as head coach at Green bay, Kevin Borseth leads the Phoenix to an 83-71 win over the Vikings in his first matchup against Cleveland State.
March 14, 2008
State defeats Green Bay in the Horizon League Championship game to earn an
automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament.
March 12, 2010
second time in three years, Green Bay falls to Cleveland State in the Horizon
League Championship game as the Vikings win 83-75 in overtime. However, Green
Bay receives an automatic bid and advances to the second round of the NCAA
Feb. 16, 2012
Green Bay's offense puts up a season-high 90 points in a win at the Wolstein Center.
FOLLOW IT LIVE: Fans can listen live on Thursday as Bruce VandenPlas will have the call on The Fan 1400 AM. Live stats and live video will also be available for the game at Cleveland State. Be sure to follow @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones on Twitter for updates throughout the game.
SCORING LOCKDOWN: Green Bay ranks second in the NCAA in scoring defense, allowing just 46.9 points per game. The Phoenix has held opponents under 50 points in 10 of 14 games this season, and has contained one of the Horizon League's top players in each of the last two games. Green Bay limited Detroit's Shareeta Brown to just eight points and held Wright State's Kim Demmings to a career-worst three points.
DANGER: Redshirt junior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) has
continued to become a nightmare in the post for opposing teams after recording
her first career double-double in the win against Wright State with 12 points
and a game-high 11 rebounds. Ranger is averaging 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds
per game while playing 15.5 minutes per game off the bench. The Skokie, Ill.
native is shooting a team-best 53.6 percent (30-56) from the field this season.
WINNING STREAK NOTES: Green Bay has won seven straight games dating back to a 55-46 comeback win at Marquette on Dec. 8. The Phoenix has held opponents to an average of just 40.0 points per game during this streak and has dominated inside, outscoring opponents 242-70 in the paint during the streak.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: Green Bay will enjoy life on the road for the next
three games following the matchup at Cleveland State. The Phoenix will wrap up
its trip to Ohio on Saturday with a contest at Youngstown State, and then hit
the road again next week for a game Saturday at Valparaiso, and Monday at
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