Phoenix Takes Home Tournament Title with 66-49 Win Over Maine
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
BANGOR, Maine (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team was able to overcome poor first half shooting as it took home the Maine Thanksgiving Tournament title with a 66-49 win over the host Black Bears on Saturday afternoon from the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor.
In addition to taking home the tournament title, senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) was named the tournament MVP, where she was joined by freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) on the all-tournament squad. Ranger finished today’s contest with a career-high 18 points, eight rebounds, three steals, two assists and two blocks, while Buck had 13 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“It was a good win for our players,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “We struggled shooting we overcame that and played really well around the basket.”
Shooting woes plagued both teams in the first half, as neither squad shot over 30 percent. Despite the shooting, the Phoenix went into the break with a 26-19 lead, its lowest points total in a half this season.
Green Bay scored the first points of the game and never relinquished the lead the remainder of the game. A Ranger layup at the 18:31 mark started the scoring for the game before Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) connected on a jumper to put the Phoenix ahead, 4-0, while forcing the home team to call a timeout.
It remained close through most of the first half, as the Black Bears stayed within three points (17-14) with 5:33 remaining. However, back-to-back buckets from Kraker and Buck extended the Phoenix advantage to seven points (21-14), and Green Bay maintained that difference going into halftime.
Green Bay was just 10-for-34 (29.4%) from the field in the first 20 minutes, while Maine was 7-for-26 (26.9%). Despite the poor shooting, the Phoenix defense carried over its strong defensive presence from the last game, forcing 11 Maine turnovers with five steals.
Opening the second half on a 13-2 run gave the Phoenix the cushion it needed to take home the title. Receiving six points from Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) during the run, Green Bay distanced itself from Maine to take a 39-21 lead with 15:11 remaining.
The Phoenix extended its lead to as many as 22 points (51-29) with 10:48 remaining, feeding Ranger inside for 10 of her 18 points. Turning around its first half shooting, Green Bay shot 64.0 percent from the field (16-25) in the second stanza in the win.
For the game, Green Bay shot 44.1 percent (26-59) from the field while holding Maine to 34.6 percent (18-52). The Phoenix controlled the boards, 39-32, and also had fewer turnovers, 19-9. While the squad struggled from three this game (2-15), Green Bay was strong in the paint with 42 of its 66 points coming from the lane.
Kraker added a career-high 17 points, while Megan Lukan tied a career-high with eight rebounds. Maine had a game-high 18 points from Liz Wood, who went 4-for-9 from three.
Green Bay returns home to play six of its next seven games at the Kress Center. The homestand begins with South Dakota State on Saturday at noon.
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