By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - With two more wins in the books after last week, the RV/RV Green Bay women's basketball team (19-2, 9-0 HL) will continue its four-game homestand when Cleveland State (12-11, 4-6 HL) comes to town on Thursday night. The game will tip at 7:05 p.m. live on Time Warner Cable Sports32, with Chris Roth and Mary Simonsen on the call.
Senior Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) could have a second memorable game against the Vikings this season as she enters the contest just 10 points shy of becoming the 31st member of the Green Bay women's basketball 1,000-point club. In the first meeting with Cleveland State this season Eichler scored a game-high 17 points, including the game-winner with a banked-in three with 1:35 remaining to seal the 52-49 comeback win.
Last week the Phoenix played its final road game for the next three weeks at Loyola on Thursday, picking up a 65-62 win after trailing 26-25 at halftime. Green Bay then kicked off the four-game homestand on Saturday with a 64-49 win against rival Milwaukee on Alumni Night, led by Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) and Stephanie Sension (Hopkins, Minn.) who each had 14 points.
SCOUTING CLEVELAND STATE: After starting the season 1-4, the Vikings won nine of their next 10 games to improve to 10-5. Since then, Cleveland State has dropped six of its last eight contests with four games decided by five points or less. The team kicks off a three-game road trip at the Kress Center after picking up a 75-69 win over UIC at home on Monday.
FIRST TIME AROUND: Green Bay snuck out of the Wolstein Center with a 52-49 victory over the Vikings on Jan. 17, coming back from the largest deficit the team has faced this season. In a game that featured 10 lead changes, four ties and the Phoenix down by as much as 12, the visitors pulled out the comeback win after a back-and-forth battle in the second half. Eichler led all players with 17 points, while Sension added 16 and Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) had 13.
STOPPING SHALONDA: Cleveland State features the Horizon League's leading scorer and second-leading rebounder Shalonda Winton, who averages a double-double at 22.7 points and 10.5 rebounds per game. The Phoenix was able to hold her below her scoring average in the first meeting this season, but the senior still manged to put up 13 points and 12 rebounds.
FOURTEEN STRAIGHT: The Phoenix has extended its winning streak to 14 games, dating back to Dec. 8 at Marquette. Since the streak began, Green Bay has held opponents to just 45.5 points per game and boasts a +20.5 scoring margin. The team has averaged 18.4 assists and has forced 12.9 turnovers per game while holding a +4.4 advantage on the boards. The Phoenix's dominant post threats Stephanie Sension and Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) are each shooting 57.7 percent from the field during the streak, while Lydia Bauer is connecting on 41.8 percent of her attempts from long range.
RIGHT AT THE EDGE: Green Bay was the top vote-receiving team for the second straight week in both Top 25 polls and remains at No. 2 with four first-place votes in the College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 poll. With 43 votes in the AP Top 25 poll, the Phoenix fell just six votes short of No. 25 Oklahoma State.
EICHLER'S EXCELLENCE: Senior Sarah Eichler enters Thursday's contest with 990 career points, right on the edge of becoming the program's 31st member of its 1,000-point club. Eichler averages 11.7 points per game this season and has scored 20 or more on three occasions this season, including a career-high 26 points against Richmond on Nov. 24. Following her career day, she was named the Horizon League Player of the Week on Nov. 26 in recognition for her standout performance.
FOLLOW IT LIVE: Thursday's game will be the fourth televised game for the Phoenix this season, with the game carried live on Time Warner Cable Sports32. Chris Roth and former Green Bay standout Mary Simonsen (Kulenkamp) will be on the call. Fans can also listen live on Thursday as Bruce VandenPlas will have the call on The Fan 1400 AM and TheFan1075.com. Live stats and live video on the Horizon League Network will also be available. Be sure to follow @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones on Twitter for updates throughout the game.
NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE: Green Bay will continue the homestand against the
Horizon League's most improved team, Youngstown State, on Saturday at 2 p.m. It
will be a Festival Foods Family Game with youth tickets starting at just $3.
The Phoenix defeated
the Penguins 59-41 on the road on Jan. 19, the last loss for YSU which has
now won five straight.
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