Postseason Props: Ritchie Inspired by Dad's Roadtrip

Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
         
Release: March 23, 2011
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Ritchie's dad, Dick (center, green shirt) drove 1,000 miles in one day to see his daughter's best NCAA Tournament performance

Editor's Note: Throughout postseason play, Assistant Director of Athletics Communications Jill Wunrow will provide "Postseason Props" to a Phoenix player/players she feels provided a spark in Green Bay's most recent game.

NCAA Tournament, Second Round (5) GREEN BAY 65, (4) MICHIGAN STATE 56 - After much deliberation and so many great performances in Green Bay's second round of the NCAA Tournament, GreenBayPhoenix.com couldn't help but hand out Postseason Props to sophomore Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) and her dad Dick.

Ritchie poured in 20 points as her dad Dick drove 1,000 miles in one day and ended up the same spot to see his daughter have the best NCAA Tournament performance of her young collegiate career.

Dick Ritchie left Wichita at 5:40 a.m. Tuesday to head to Oshkosh to see his youngest daughter Jillian, who is a senior on the De Pere basketball team, play in her high school sectional game. Dick traveled as far as Iowa when he received a phone call that the decision was made to postpone Jillian's game due to weather conditions in northeast Wisconsin. Ritchie made a U-turn and made it back to Wichita 31 minutes before tipoff.

"That was worth every mile," said Dick Ritchie of his daughter's performance. "She made one three and then another and I could just tell by her body language she wanted the ball and knew she could make shots."

Ritchie entered the contest in the first half at the 16-minute mark and just like her first career NCAA Tournament game last season, she showed no fear and rose to the occasion. Ritchie led all players with 13 points in 16 first-half minutes.

At the 14:49 mark, Ritchie drained a long three pointer from the right wing, boosting Green Bay's lead to eight. On Green Bay's next offensive possession, Ritchie made a beautiful back-door cut and Celeste Hoewisch (Hortonville, Wis.) found her for the bucket.

"My dad is one of my biggest fans so it felt so good to play as well as I did in front of him," said Ritchie. "It was great to see him. I love seeing him every game but this game knowing that he went all that way just to see us play was so meaningful to me."

In a span of one and a half minutes late in the opening half, Ritchie drained back-to-back three pointers from the left wing, had an assist and a steal, sparking the Phoenix to a 35-23 halftime lead and leading to a very proud Dick Ritchie. "I don't think I'll ever experience that again, what a great performance."

Ritchie scored seven more points in the second half, including her career-high fourth three-pointer with 11:11 to play, boosting Green Bay's lead to four (44-40). With just 20 seconds to play, Ritchie helped seal the win sinking a pair of free throws. Ritchie tied a program record in the NCAA Tournament going 4-for-5, shooting 80 percent from three-point range.

Ritchie in Postseason Play... After suffering a right MCL injury January 8, Ritchie didn't feel 100 percent like herself until the Horizon League Tournament when she averaged 10 points per game including an 18-point performance in the championship game against Butler. In last season's NCAA Tournament, Ritchie averaged 8.5 points while scoring 14 points in Green Bay's win over Virginia.

The fifth seed, Green Bay (34-1) will face top-seeded Baylor (33-2) on Sunday, March 27, in Dallas at American Airlines Center at 5:30 p.m. CT.

For more information on the NCAA Tournament and for exclusive content on the Phoenix throughout the postseason, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com's NCAA Tournament Central presented by Taco Bell .

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