Women's Basketball Hosts HL Quarterfinals Against Valparaiso
By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – It’s tournament time for the top seeded Green Bay women’s basketball team as it kicks off the Horizon League Tourney in quarterfinal action on Wednesday evening at the Kress Center, welcoming No. 9 Valparaiso for a 7 p.m. tip.
Live audio with Bruce VandenPlas on the call will be available for free via GreenBayPhoenix.com or on the Green Bay Phoenix App on IOS and Android devices. Video of the game will be available online for free through the Horizon League Network and live stats on GreenBayPhoenix.com.
The first 200 students will receive a Horizon League Women's Basketball Tournament t-shirt.
Wednesday’s contest marks the 35th all-time meeting between Green Bay and Valparaiso, with the Phoenix leading the all-time series 30-4. Green Bay has won the last 15 meetings dating back to the 2007-08 season, including both matchups this season: 70-42 at home on Feb. 3 and 53-49 at Valparaiso on Mar. 1. Of the four losses in the all-time series two have come in Green Bay, but the Phoenix has not lost a contest to the Crusaders at the Kress Center and has not lost at home since March 8, 1991. Valparaiso and Green Bay have met in the quarterfinals the past two seasons, with the Phoenix claiming both matchups.
Green Bay concluded Horizon League action with a record of 13-3 en route to claiming its 16th-consecutive conference regular season title and the top seed in the postseason tournament. For its efforts, the Phoenix took home two of the five major postseason awards as Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) was named the Freshman of the Year and head coach Kevin Borseth was tabbed the Coach of the Year. Sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) was named Second Team All-League, while Buck and Mehryn Kraker (West Allis, Wis.) were placed on the All-Freshman Team and junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) took home All-Defensive Team accolades.
Ninth-seeded Valparaiso advanced to the quarterfinals of the Horizon League Tournament with a 76-69 win over No. 8 Detroit on Monday evening. The Crusaders went on a 14-2 run midway through the first half and held on to the lead the rest of the way, despite the Titans cutting the lead to single digits in the second stanza. The Crusaders started the conference season 1-10 but won two of its final five contests to finish with a 3-13 mark in the conference. Four players are averaging 10+ points a game, led by 11.6 from Charae Richardson, 11.5 by Sharon Karungi, 10.7 from Jessi Wiedemann and 10.5 by Liz Horton. Karungi also leads the team with 7.6 rebounds and 0.7 blocks per game, while Richardson has a team-best 3.6 assists per game and 1.4 steals per game.
1. Conference Hardware: Green Bay took home several postseason accolades as the Horizon League handed out honors on Monday. Highlighting the honorees were two major award winners, as freshman Tesha Buck was named the Freshman of the Year while head coach Kevin Borseth was tabbed the Coach of the Year. Additionally, sophomore Kaili Lukan was named Second Team All-League, Buck and classmate Mehryn Kraker to the All-Freshman team, and junior Megan Lukan to the All-Defensive team.
2. In the Tournament: Since joining the Horizon League in 1994-95, Green Bay is 45-7 in the Horizon League postseason tournament, including a nearly perfect 18-1 in the quarterfinals. The Phoenix only loss in the quarterfinals came in its first season in the conference when it fell to Northern Illinois (1994-95). Overall, Green Bay has been the No. 1 seed 16 times, including 15 of the last 16 seasons. This will be the third-consecutive year Green Bay and Valparaiso has met in the quarterfinals, with the Phoenix winning each of those matchups.
3. Sweet 16th: With a win over Detroit last Saturday the Phoenix claimed the Horizon League regular season title outright, its 16th-consecutive league title. Green Bay has now claimed a regular season title in 16 of its 20 seasons in the Horizon League and has never finished lower than fourth place since joining for the 1994-95 season. The streak of 16 regular season championships is currently the longest active streak in the nation.
4. Roaring Twenties: With a win against Detroit on Saturday, Green Bay locked up its 27th all-time 20+ win season in program history. It also marked the 15th consecutive 20+ win season for the program and 10th under head coach Kevin Borseth, who has reached the mark in all but one season in his time at Green Bay.
5. Sharp Shooter: In her senior season at Green Bay, Breannah Ranger has established herself as the top threat to score in the paint for the Phoenix. Against Oakland on Thursday Ranger finished with a then career-high 19 points before finishing with a career-best 20 point performance on Senior Day against Detroit. This season Ranger has scored 10+ points in 17 games and shot over 50 percent in 18 contests. She currently leads the Horizon League shooting 54.2 percent (128-236).
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