Postseason Props: Freshman and Senior Propel Phoenix to Title
By: Jill Wunrow
HORIZON LEAGUE FINAL, (1) Green Bay 66, (2) Detroit 53 - Postseason Props is once again a shared honor in No. 10/10 Green Bay's (30-1, 17-1 HL) 66-53 Horizon League Championship final win over No. 2 seed Detroit (20-13, 14-4 HL) with Tournament MVP Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) and All-Tournament Team freshman Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) earning props for their key performances.
Playing in the first postseason tournament of her collegiate career, Lukan showed no fear from the tip. In the first half, Lukan broke the first of six ties with a three to give Green Bay the 12-9 lead.
As Detroit built its largest lead of the game with 5:09 to play in the opening half, Lukan sank a layup to cut the Titans' lead to 26-19. Detroit's Shareta Brown responded with a layup, once again making it a nine point game before Lukan sank back-to-back three pointers, cutting Detroit's lead to three (28-25) with 1:54 to play. Wojta stole the ball and followed with a jumper on the offensive end to make it a one point game (28-27).
Detroit led 30-27 at the break with Lukan leading the Phoenix with 11 points while Wojta chipped in nine. Lukan went 3-for-5 from three-point range in the first half, tying a career high.
"Megan in the first half really stepped up and played as well as anyone on the floor," Bollant said. "To be one of the best players on the floor in the championship game says a lot about her character and integrity."
With Detroit leading 37-35 with 15:44 to play, Lukan stole the ball and took it the distance for the layup, tying the game for the final time. After another layup one minute later to give Green Bay the lead for good (39-37), Wojta sank her second three pointer of the half to make it a 42-37 Phoenix lead.
Lukan was held without a three in the second half which opened opportunities for Wojta to go 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, leading all players with 20 points in the closing half. Wojta also won the battle on the boards in the second half with nine.
Wojta posted her 34th career double double performance with a game-high 29 points and 11 rebounds, going 10-for-18 from the field while sinking a career high 4-for-4 from three point range. Wojta tied former Green Bay player Elizabeth Dudley with 12 steals throughout the three games in the tournament.
"It's a team award and it's a great honor," Wojta said of her MVP award. "The people I practice against every day and having that competition has made me the player I am and that's why it's a team award."
Lukan poured in a career-high 20 points going 6-for-9 from the field, 3-for-5 from three point range and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe while playing a career-high 39 minutes.
"I really want to play with energy all the time, making sure I'm stepping up," Lukan said. "The fact I was able to was really rewarding, and I'm not going away. I'm going to keep bringing it every game in the NCAA Tournament and next year."
Green Bay will host a NCAA Tournament Send-Off Celebration and Selection Show Party on Monday at the Kress Events Center beginning at 5:30 p.m. For more information, click here.
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