(5) Green Bay Ready to Face (1) Baylor in Tonight's Regional Semifinal
DALLAS, Texas (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - The fifth-seeded No. 13/11 Green Bay (34-1) women's basketball team will face top-seeded No. 3/3 Baylor (33-2) in Sunday's NCAA Tournament regional semifinal contest at American Airlines Center at approximately 6:00 p.m. CT in Dallas, Texas. The game will broadcast on ESPN2 with Pam Ward, Stephanie White and Beth Mowins with the call.
Green Bay advanced to the 38-year-old program's first Sweet 16 appearance with a 65-56 win over fourth-seeded Michigan State in the second round. Sophomore Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) came off the bench and scored 20 points while sinking a career-high four three pointers. Ritchie is shooting 85 percent from beyond the arc in the tournament. Meanwhile, Co-Horizon League Player of the Year Kayla Tetschlag (Sheboygan, Wis.) posted consecutive double-doubles in first and second round play, averaging 17.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per contest.
"Our players have worked very hard and accomplished something that's never been done in the history of this Green Bay program," said head coach Matt Bollant. "To be a mid major and knock off the Big Ten teams that we did, it says a lot about the fight and who our players are."
Baylor advanced to the Sweet 16 for the third-consecutive season with its 82-68 victory over ninth-seeded West Virginia. Sophomore Brittney Griner led the Lady Bears with a game-high 30 points while freshman Odyssey Sims and senior Melissa Jones each chipped in 13 and Destiny Williams added 10 while grabbing 10 boards.
"Baylor has some other great parts besides Griner," said Celeste Hoewisch (Hortonville, Wis.). "Ball pressure is going to be key for us and keeping those guards in front, because Brittney Griner is going to be a hard enough task as it is."
Green Bay is the first team other than Connecticut and Tennessee to have at least 32 wins entering the NCAA Tournament. The Phoenix joined a list of 16 teams (including Connecticut this season) who entered the NCAA Tournament with at least 30 wins and no more than one loss. All 14 of the previous teams advanced at least as far as the Sweet 16, and all but two reached the Final Four.
"We're excited to be here," Bollant said. "It's been a really fun ride and we're hoping it's going to go on for a while."
Green Bay vs. Big 12 in the NCAA Tournament... This is the second-consecutive season Green Bay will face a Big 12 opponent in the NCAA Tournament. Last season the Phoenix was edged 60-56 by Iowa State in the second round after leading the contest down to the final minutes.
Common Opponents... Green Bay and Baylor have played just two similar opponents this season, including Michigan State. Baylor defeated Michigan State 78-52 in Waco in its fifth game of the season back on Nov. 19. The two teams have also each played Minnesota, with Green Bay defeating the Golden Gophers 79-75 on the road on Nov. 14 in the Best Buy Classic Championship game while the Bears posted a 103-56 home victory over the Gophers on Dec. 5.
Tetschlag in the Tournament... Senior Kayla Tetschlag has had some of her best-career performances in the NCAA Tournament. The Defensive Team All-League selection led the Phoenix in its first and second round games of the NCAA Tournament averaging 17.0 points and 11.5 rebounds per game while posting a double-double in the contest.
"After the last game I was thanking all the underclassmen for just giving me one more game in this uniform," said Tetschlag. "I think they've shown they don't want to stop playing with us by playing as hard as they play, so I'm looking forward to it."
Defensive Pressure... As has been the case in each of Green Bay's NCAA Tournament games this season, the contest will feature two of the best defensive teams in the country. In scoring defense, the Phoenix allows 52.2 points per game and Baylor allows 53.4 points per game to rank seventh and 13th in the country, respectively. Baylor's opponents shoot just 26.2 percent from the three-point line compared to 26.6 percent by Green Bay's foes, with the teams ranking seventh and ninth, respectively.
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.