Bench Provides Spark as Women's Basketball Tops UIC, 81-54
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
CHICAGO, Ill. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) — The Green Bay women’s basketball team used 35 bench points and a big 17-3 run to start the second half as it picked up its sixth-consecutive conference win with an 81-54 triumph over UIC at the UIC Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.
The win improved the Phoenix to 14-7 overall and 7-2 in the Horizon League while it earned the series sweep of the Flames. UIC dropped to 17-6 overall and 6-4 in the conference. Green Bay received a career-high 19 points from freshman Sam Terry (Baraboo, Wis.) who finished the contest a perfect 4-for-4 from behind the arc and 7-for-8 from the free throw line, missing just her final attempt with under 40 seconds remaining.
“Today was a great team result for us,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “We had production from almost every spot on our roster and we played really well defensively to get the result.”
Neither team was able to find its stride in the early going as they combined to open 0-for-12 over the first 2:29 before freshman Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) was able to score after picking up an offensive rebound to give the Phoenix an early 2-0 lead. Green Bay went on to score the next six points as it jumped out to an 8-0 advantage at the first media timeout. Freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) netted a three during the run before senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) closed it with an and-1.
It was a game of streaks the rest of the opening stanza as UIC was able to cut the lead to two points (8-6) at the 12:42 mark with a quick 6-0 run. However the Phoenix responded to put its advantage back at eight points (17-9) with 9:45 remaining before another run got the home team back to within a point (22-21) with 4:54 on the clock.
Remaining close in the final minutes, the Phoenix lead stood at two points (27-25) with just under three minutes remaining before closing on a 9-3 run to go into halftime with a 36-28 lead. Aiding the Phoenix in the final minutes was its ability to make shots from deep, with its last five field goals coming from deep. Terry made all three of her attempts, while Kraker continued her hot shooting with two.
Green Bay shot 52.0 percent (13-25) from the field and 50.0 percent (7-14) from deep while holding the Flames to just 28.1 percent (9-32) from the field. UIC leading scorer Rachel Story was held without a field goal after spending most of the half on the bench with three early fouls.
“Sam came in lit it up from the arc and that gave us some quality points, especially in the first half,” Borseth said. “It really gave us the momentum we needed off the bench.”
It was all Phoenix in the second half as it opened with a 17-3 run to jump out to a 53-31 advantage leading up to the first media timeout (15:48). Story scored the first points of the half for UIC, but Green Bay scored the next 11 to assume a 47-30 lead and force the Flames to call a timeout. Kraker and junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) started the run with jumpers before Buck connected on a three and Ranger put up back-to-back layups in the paint.
Green Bay held the Flames at bay the rest of the way as it cruised to its sixth-consecutive Horizon League win, 81-54.
The Phoenix finished the game shooting 55.3 percent (26-47) while holding UIC to under 30 percent (29.3%, 17-58). Green Bay was also 61.1 percent (11-18) from three and 72.0 percent (18-25) while outrebounding the top rebounding team in the conference, 40-32. GB also won points in the paint, 28-20 and bench points, 35-5.
Three Phoenix finished in double digits led by Terry (19), Kraker (18) and Ranger (13). Buck added a team best seven rebounds and three assists.
UIC was led by a double-double (22 pts., 13 reb.) performance from Ruvanna Campbell.
“The win was nice, but we are taking it one game at a time,” Borseth said. “Everything from this point forward, we need to make sure we are prepared. This league is tough and there are still a lot of games to unfold.”
Green Bay will have a week off before it returns to action against in-state rival Milwaukee next Saturday at 2 p.m.
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