Women's Basketball NCAA Tournament Preview: First Round vs Purdue
CATCH THE ACTION: Friday, March 17 - 5:15 / 4:15 p.m. CT // Notre Dame, Ind. (Purcell Pavilion)
Matchup: No. 8 Green Bay Phoenix (27-5, 15-3 HL) vs No. 9 Purdue Boilermakers (22-12, 10-6 Big Ten)
Where to Watch: TV - ESPN2 Online - WatchESPN
Where to Follow: Live Stats
Where to Listen: WNFL 101.9 FM, 1440 AM
For Live in-game updates, follow: @gbphoenixwbb
PHOENIX QUICK FACTS
• Green Bay won its 19th-consecutive regular-season conference championship this season, finishing with a 15-3 record in Horizon League play to share the title with Wright State
• Mehryn Kraker was named Horizon League Player of the Year and espnW’s Mid-Major Player of the Year
• Green Bay enters the NCAA Tournament with a six-game winning streak, its longest of the season was 11 games
• Following the Horizon League Tournament, Green Bay ranked 26th in NCAA RPI
• Green Bay’s non-conference RPI ranked fourth in the nation
• The Phoenix is 6-0 against current mid-major top 25 teams, with wins over Drake and Elon, No. 1 and No. 2 in the poll, respectively (collegeinsider.com)
• Drake, Elon, Little Rock, Wright State and Chattanooga all won at least a share of the regular-season conference championship in their respective leagues and were defeated by Green Bay this season
• The Phoenix is 5-1 against teams in the top 50 RPI entering the NCAA Tournament (Only loss to Notre Dame) and 7-1 against teams in the top 100 RPI
HORIZON LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SUCCESS
Green Bay recently made its eighth-consecutive Horizon League Tournament Championship game and 20th overall. The Phoenix owns a 15-4 all-time record in the tournament’s biggest game and has won 15 of the last 20 titles.
It is no secret that Mehryn Kraker has been one of the best to ever wear a Phoenix jersey. Kraker recently added another bullet-point to an already remarkable career resume, becoming the first player to receive the league’s most prestigious award since Julie Wojta in the 2011-12 season. Kraker is the ninth player is program history to earn Horizon League Player of the Year. She shattered the all-time three-point record this season, becoming the only player in the 44-year history of the program to surpass 200 three-pointers made. Kraker has also been climbing the all-time scoring ladder all season, currently ranking fourth with 1,648 career points. She enters the NCAA Tournament having scored 558 points this season, which ranks fourth on Green Bay’s single-season scoring list. Kraker also finished in the top five in the league in points-per-game (2nd), field-goal percentage (3rd), three-pointers made (T-2nd), as well as top 10 in assists (8th) and three-point field-goal percentage (7th).
WINNING....SINCE THE BEGINNING
The Green Bay women’s basketball team is one of three Division I women’s basketball programs that has had a winning record every year since the NCAA took over administration of women’s college athletics in the fall of 1981. Essentially, the Phoenix has never had a losing record in the NCAA era. The two teams that join it are Tennessee and Georgia, who finished the SEC Tournament at 19-11 and 16-15, respectively.
ABUNDANCE OF ACCOLADES
After not placing a member of the squad on the Horizon League’s First Team since Adrian Ritchie in 2012-13, Kraker collected Player of the Year honors this season. Jessica Lindstrom was named to the All-Defensive Team for the second-straight season and added a second-team honor to her list of accolades after leading the team in rebounding with 9.6 RPG and second in scoring with 12.7 PPG. Jen Wellnitz received the first postseason honor of her career, earning a spot on the All-Defensive team after leading our team in steals with 43 during league play to finish second in the HL with 2.5 per game. Hibner provided the Phoenix with support off the bench in her first year with the team, finishing fifth on the team in scoring with a 4.7 PPG average. She was also one of the more reliable players on the boards, finishing second on the team with 3.4 RPG. Hibner is the first player from Green Bay to make an appearance on the league’s all-freshman team since Mehryn Kraker and Tesha Buck accomplished the same feat in 2013-14.
KEEPING IT 100
Seniors Mehryn Kraker, Sam Terry and Lexi Weitzer claimed the 100th win of their careers in their final home game against UIC on February 20th. The most wins by the program in a four-year span in Green Bay’s history is 122 and it was done by two separate classes, as Julie Wojta and Hannah Quilling set the record from 2008-12 and Adrian Ritchie, Lydia Bauer, Sarah Eichler and Stephanie Sension matched the record from 2009-13.
Green Bay secured its 40th-consecutive winning season this year and trails only Tennessee (43) for the longest active streak in the nation. Green Bay’s streak includes 19-straight conference titles and 17 NCAA Tournament appearances. After the victory over Cleveland State on Feb. 10, the Phoenix also secured 18-consecutive 20-plus win seasons dating back to 1999-00.
The Phoenix clinched its 19th-consecutive regular season conference championship this season, a streak that dates back to the 1998-99 season. Green Bay’s current consecutive title run is the longest active conference championship streak in the nation. To really put things in perspective, the last time that Green Bay lost a regular-season conference championship, freshman Karly Murphy hadn’t been born.
Junior Allie LeClaire is the most recent member of the Phoenix squad to join the 1,000-points club, doing so in the Horizon League Tournament Championship after finishing with a team-high 19 points. Green Bay has seen 35 members reach the milestone, 23 of which have been during the D1 era of Phoenix basketball.
PHOENIX NATIONAL RANKINGS
• No. 2 in the nation in scoring defense at 51.0 points per game allowed
• No. 9 in the nation in scoring margin at an +18.7 point per game difference
• No. 13 in the nation in rebound margin at +8.6 rebound difference per game
• No. 16 in the nation in field-goal percentage at 45.9 percent
• No. 22 in the nation in field-goal percentage defense at 35.7 percent
• No. 32 in the nation in assists per game averaging 15.9 per game
• No. 40 in the nation in three-point field goals per game making 7.7
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