Women's Basketball Takes Home TD Bank Classic Title
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
BURLINGTON, Vt. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – For the second time in program history, the Green Bay women’s basketball team earned the TD Bank Classic title, hosted by the University of Vermont, with a 74-57 win over the host Catamounts on Saturday evening at Patrick Gymnasium.
Sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) was named the tournament MVP, while sister junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) was also named to the all-tournament team. Kaili finished the weekend averaging 12.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in 26.0 minutes of action, shooting 70 percent (7-10) from three. Megan averaged 11.0 points, 4.0 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals in 32.5 minutes.
“Kaili did a great job this weekend, especially shooting from three,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “She played well and deserved the honor for how much she helped this team.
“I was proud of our team for the effort they put forth today,” Borseth said. “We played hard, and everyone was able to get time which was great for our players to get experience, especially against a tough Vermont team.”
Opening the first half a perfect 3-for-3 from deep with baskets by freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.), Kaili Lukan and freshman Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.), the Phoenix jumped out to a 9-4 lead, eventually building that advantage to 12-9 with 13:19 remaining.
A 7-0 run gave the Catamounts the lead, 16-12, with 8:55 on the clock. Kaili Lukan broke the run with her second three pointer of the night, but transitioning to the other end of the court Vermont’s Kylie Butler was fouled as she made a layup for the three point play to keep the Catamounts ahead, 19-15.
It was the last lead of the half for Vermont, as freshman Sam Terry (Baraboo, Wis.) made a three and Megan Lukan sunk a pair of free throws to put the Phoenix ahead, 20-19, with 7:41 remaining. The Phoenix closed the half on a 22-4 scoring advantage, including the baskets by Terry and Megan Lukan, over the final 8:15 to go into the half with a 37-23 lead. During the run the Phoenix held the Catamounts to just one basket, and without a bucket over the final 4:25.
The Phoenix shot 41.4 percent (12-29) from the field, including going 66.7 percent (6-9) from three. On the other end, Vermont shot 39.1 percent (9-23) from the field and 14.3 percent (1-7) from three.
Green Bay started the second half with two quick baskets to force a Catamount timeout, and turned up the pressure on both the offensive and defensive end as it continued to build its lead. Going on a 13-0 run to take a 50-23 lead, the Phoenix defense held Vermont without a field goal over the first 5:38 of the stanza. A Butler layup and-1 ended a span of 10:03 scoreless minutes spanning both halves for Vermont, but the Phoenix continued to control the tempo as it cruised to the win.
Megan Lukan finished with a team-high 12 points, while Kaili Lukan added nine points and a career-high six rebounds. Mariah Monke (Fergus Falls, Minn.) had a career game with seven points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Vermont received a game-high 16 points and nine rebounds from Butler.
For the game, Green Bay shot 36.1 percent (22-61) and finished at 50.0 percent (8-16) from deep. Vermont outrebounded the Phoenix, 40-39, but the Phoenix led in assists, 12-9, and steals, 10-7.
Green Bay returns to action next week, concluding its six-game road trip at the University of Maine Thanksgiving Tournament. The Phoenix kicks off the tourney against William and Mary on Friday.
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