By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis.
(GreenBayPhoenix.com) - In front of a
crowd of 3,505 strong, the Green Bay women's basketball team (8-2) dominated in
the paint and on defense to defeat Wisconsin 53-38 Sunday evening at the Kress
Center. The win marks the fourth consecutive victory for Green Bay in the
series against the Badgers, improves the Phoenix to 11-18 all-time against
Wisconsin and gives Green Bay a 2-0 advantage over other Division I teams in
Wisconsin this season.
The Badgers opened what started as a close contest
with a Morgan Paige three, but senior Lydia
Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) responded with a triple of her own to tie the
game. A Paige free throw gave the Badgers a one point advantage, but Green Bay
went on a 7-0 run over the next five and a half minutes to push the lead to
11-4. Wisconsin responded with a 5-0 run of its own to cut the lead to two, but
it was all Green Bay for the rest of the half.
The Phoenix closed the opening frame with a 16-1 run
over the final 9:06 to take a 27-10 lead into the locker room. Redshirt
sophomore Megan Lukan (Barrie,
Ontario) finished the first half with a game-high six points, including a
spectacular no-look underhand layup through the Wisconsin defense with four
minutes remaining in the half. Lukan finished the contest with eight points on
66.7 percent shooting.
"This was a great win in front of a great crowd. It's
not very easy to hold someone to 10 points in a half, but our kids do a really
good job of keeping people in front of them," said head coach Kevin Borseth. "I don't know if people
realize how well these kids can guard. When you watch them guard one-on-one,
they're really good at it."
Wisconsin came out of the break by stringing together
an 11-2 run over the first 5:46 of the second half, with all 11 points scored
by Paige and Jacki Gulczynski. Paige finished with a game-high 21 points, while
Gulczynski had a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Redshirt senior Stephanie
Sension (Hopkins, Minn.) broke Wisconsin's run by scoring seven consecutive
points in just over a minute, sparked by an and-one free throw with 12:51
remaining. Sension led all Green Bay players with 13 points.
The Phoenix pushed the lead to as many as 19 with less
than two minutes remaining, but late threes by Paige with 37 seconds and again
with one second remaining cut Green Bay's lead-and the final score-to 53-38.
After scoring 46 points in the paint in a 72-37
rout of North Dakota State earlier in the week Green Bay again dominated down
low, outscoring the Badgers 38-6 inside. Green Bay also scored 12 points off
Wisconsin's 25 turnovers, the second highest mark the team has posted this
season since forcing 26 at
Marquette on Dec. 8.
"Our goal on defense was to keep them out of the paint
and make them shoot outside, which helps keep us out of foul trouble. On our
end we wanted to get inside, but we kept getting shots blocked," Borseth said. "Despite
that, we scored 38 points in the paint-that's really good considering Wisconsin
blocked and altered quite a few shots."
Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) scored 12 points and grabbed six rebounds while
pitching in four assists. Ritchie, the Horizon League's steals leader, also
grabbed four away from the Badgers on the night. Fellow senior Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) scored nine
points and had a game-high five steals.
The Phoenix will have a break over the holidays and
return to action on Dec. 30 at Wichita State. Green Bay holds a 1-1 record against
the Shockers, with the last meeting coming more than 10 years ago. The two
teams played during both the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons, with the Phoenix
falling on the road in the first meeting and winning the second at home.
For the latest and most up-to-date information
on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
Follow us on Twitter: @GBPhoenix , @GBPhoenixWBB and @JustinGrones
Like Green Bay
Women's Basketball and Green
Bay Phoenix Athletics