By: Jill Wunrow (@JillWunrow)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - For the third consecutive season the RV/RV Green Bay (2-0) women's basketball team will participate in a regular season tournament as it heads to Cancun, Mexico for the Cancun Challenge November 22-24 at the Moon Palace Resort. The Phoenix enters the Cancun Challenge on a nine-game regular season winning streak and looks to start it season 3-0 for the fifth consecutive season.
The 2012-13 squad is 7-0 in regular season tournament play, including going 3-0 against Big Ten opponents and 9-2 overall when playing on a neutral court. Green Bay will play three games in three days with a battle against James Madison (1-2) Thursday, Nov. 22, Missouri (1-2) Friday, Nov. 23 and Richmond (1-3) Saturday, Nov. 24.
Green Bay is off to a 2-0 start after edging UNI 54-53 in its regular season opener Nov. 10 in Cedar Falls, Iowa before capturing a 75-48 win over Central Michigan in its home opener Nov. 17. The Phoenix has outscored its first pair of opponents by an average of 14 points per game while forcing its opponents an average of 21 turnovers per contest.
The Phoenix is being led in scoring and rebounding by senior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) with 20.5 points and 7.0 boards per game. In Green Bay's win over Central Michigan, Ritchie posted her first career double double performance scoring a game-high 25 points and 10 rebounds while pouring in a career-high 11 field goals. Green Bay's game against James Madison will mark Ritchie's 100th game in a Phoenix uniform.
In addition to Ritchie averaging in double-figure scoring, classmate Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) is also off to a strong start in her senior campaign, averaging 14.5 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and a team-high seven steals.
STARTING SENSION: With Green Bay returning four of its five starters this season, senior Stephanie Sension (Hopkins, Minn.) fills the fifth spot for the Phoenix in the starting line-up. Sension has turned in impressive performances in her first pair of games in the starting lineup. After scoring 13 points, 12 in the first half, while playing a career-high 33 minutes in Green Bay's season opener at UNI Nov. 10, Sension tied a career-high seven rebounds in the home opener against Central Michigan while pouring in 14 points. It was the first time in her career the redshirt senior has scored in double figures in back-to-back contests.
GREEN BAY (2-0) VS. JAMES MADISON (1-2) - Thursday, Nov. 22, 5:00 p.m. CT: Thursday's Thanksgiving evening game will be the first meeting between the Dukes and the Phoenix. Both teams are ranked in the top six in College Insider's Mid-Major Top 25 with Green Bay at No. 2 and James Madison at No. 6. Both teams also return four starters this season after having successful 2011-12 postseasons. For the third consecutive season, Green Bay advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament while James Madison was the WNIT Runner-Up after falling 75-68 to Oklahoma State.
GREEN BAY (2-0) VS. MISSOURI (3-0) - Friday, Nov. 23, 5:00 p.m. CT: For the second consecutive season, Green Bay will battle an opponent from the SEC Conference when it faces Missouri for the second time in a regular season tournament. Green Bay is 4-7 all-time against opponents from the SEC with its most recent battle against No. 2 seed Kentucky in the second round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament in which the Phoenix was edged 65-62 in the most remarkable comeback in program history. Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth is 1-1 when leading the Phoenix against the Tigers after capturing a 74-66 win Nov. 29, 2004 in Green Bay's Oneida Bingo and Casino Holiday Tournament.
GREEN BAY (2-0) VS. RICHMOND (1-3) - Saturday, Nov. 24, 2:30 p.m. CT: Richmond is the second of three teams Green Bay will face this season for the first time in program history (St. Bonaventure being the other). Like James Madison and Green Bay, Richmond rounds out the only three teams in the six-team tournament who returns four starters from its 2011-12 roster. Saturday's game will be the first of two contests against A10 opponents this season for Green Bay as it faces St. Bonaventure Jan. 5 in Green Bay.
ABOUT THE CANCUN CHALLENGE: The event enters its eighth year and has become one of the most popular destination preseason tournaments for women's teams. Since its inception in 2005, 42 Division I teams have participated from 21 different conferences. In addition to Green Bay, this year's field includes James Madison (Colonial), Minnesota (Big 10), Missouri (SEC), Richmond (Atlantic 10), and Wichita State (Missouri Valley). Each team will play three games. There is no champion crowned.
This is the third appearance in the Cancun Challenge for James Madison which is the most all time, second appearance for Richmond and Green Bay, and the first appearance for Minnesota, Missouri, and Wichita State.
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Fans not making the trip to the Cancun Challenge can track all the action on GreenBayPhoenix.com. Daily updates, scores and notes along with prizes will be given away on the Cancun Challenge Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the tournament. You can also follow @GBPhoenixWBB and @JillWunrow on Twitter as the Phoenix travels to Cancun.
Live stats and live video streams will also be available for all Cancun Challenge contests. All links can be found on the top of the article.
You can also listen to all three games on the radio dial 1400 AM.
Individual, full season ticket and Pick 5 packages are on sale now with the Green Bay Athletics Ticket Office. For more information and to order tickets, please call 920.465.2625 or visit the athletics department offices in the Kress Events Center.
For the latest and most up-to-date information on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.