By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
GREEN BAY, Wis.
(GreenBayPhoenix.com) - After
clinching at least a share of a 15th consecutive Horizon League regular season
title in a win over Valparaiso on Saturday, the Green Bay women's basketball
team (22-2, 12-0 HL) will look to clinch the championship outright with a road
battle at Detroit (14-10, 7-5 HL) on Thursday night at 6 p.m CST. The game pits
the top two home teams in the Horizon League, with both the Phoenix and Titans
boasting undefeated marks on their respective home courts.
The Phoenix extended its winning streak to 17 games,
tied for the fifth-longest regular season winning streak in program history,
with an 80-38
victory over Valparaiso in the PinkZone game on Saturday. All 11 players saw
time on the court and scored, including two new career highs. Redshirt
sophomore Megan Lukan (Barrie,
Ontario) led the way with a career-high 22 points on 8-13 shooting, including a
4-8 mark from long range. Before Saturday's game, Lukan hadn't made a three
since the last matchup with Valparaiso on Jan. 26 and had just four total three's
for the season. In addition to her high-percentage shooting, Lukan
single-handedly outscored Valparaiso 16-13 in the first half.
DETROIT: Detroit is the only other
Horizon League team with a perfect home record, boasting a 9-0 mark this season
and a 15-0 overall streak with six wins from last season added on. The Titans
have dropped two straight after getting swept out of the Windy City with losses
at Loyola and at UIC. Before that trip, Detroit had won seven of its previous
SHAREETA, ROUND TWO: Green Bay will
look to lock down post threat Shareeta Brown for the second time this season in
Thursday's matchup. Brown leads the Horizon League in field goal percentage
with a 57.2 mark and is second in the conference in scoring at 21.3 points per
game. In the first meeting this season, Brown entered the contest as the
second-leading scorer in the nation at 26.0 points per game, but the Phoenix
held her to just eight points on 2-4 shooting in 30 minutes of action.
DOUBLED UP: Green Bay opened Horizon League play on Jan. 8 in
dominating fashion in the win over Detroit at the Kress Center. In the 62-31 outing,
the Phoenix defense was paced by senior Adrian
Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) who had a career-high seven steals. The Titans' 31
points is the lowest total by an opponent this season and also ranks in the top
five for lowest opponent scoring totals against Green Bay in the last 30 years.
ON A ROLL IN
THE POLLS: Green Bay moved up four spots
in this week's AP Top 25 poll, coming in at No. 21 after spending last week at
No. 25. The Phoenix also entered the USA Today Coaches Poll this week with a
No. 23 ranking after serving as the top vote-receiving team in last week's
edition. The team also stayed at No. 2 with two first-place votes in the
College Insider Mid-Major Top 25 Poll. Detroit is also featured in that poll,
receiving one vote.
TALK: Regardless of the rest of the
season's outcome, with Saturday's win over Valparaiso Green Bay guaranteed it
will host the 2013 Horizon League Tournament. In its five-year history, the
Kress Center has hosted every conference tournament.
DANGER: Redshirt junior Breannah
Ranger continued to make her case for Sixth Player of the Year with her second
double-double of the season and of her career against Valparaiso. In the win
over the Crusaders, Ranger put up 11 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, just one
shy of her career-high 11 boards set earlier this season. In addition to
averaging 7.7 points and a tied team-high 4.9 rebounds per game, Ranger is
second in the Horizon League with a 55.0 field goal percentage.
CONNECTIONS: Detroit head coach
Autumn Rademacher is very familiar with Green Bay, having played at Detroit
against the Phoenix from 1993-97. During her senior season, she was a part of
the Detroit team that upset Green Bay in the 1997 MCC Tournament Championship
game to advance to the NCAA Tournament. After
seven seasons at Western Michigan, Rademacher was an assistant coach on the
Green Bay bench from 2003-04 until 2007-08 before accepting her current
position in the Motor City.
FOLLOW IT LIVE: Fans can listen live as Bruce
VandenPlas will have the call on The Fan 107.5 FM, 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 round out the weekend with a road trip
to Chicago to battle UIC on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Phoenix had a record day
against the Flames on Feb. 2 with a 99-53
win at home, breaking the program record for assists in a game with 34 and
scoring the sixth-most points in a single game in program history.
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.
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