By Justin Grones (@JustinGrones)
Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Paced by
the incredible efforts from seniors Adrian
Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) and Lydia
Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) from long range, the No. 20/20 Green Bay women's basketball
team finished Horizon League play with a perfect 16-0 record after an 80-56 win
at Milwaukee. The win improves Green Bay's record to 26-2 overall, while the
Panthers dropped to 9-19 and 5-11 in Horizon League play.
The win marks the fifth time in the Division I era the
Phoenix finished undefeated in conference play and the second time under head
coach Kevin Borseth. Green Bay went
undefeated twice under Matt Bollant and in Borseth's final season of his first
stint, 2006-07. The last time the Phoenix finished unblemished in league play
was the 2010-11 campaign.
"To go undefeated in conference play is a nice feather
in our caps and it puts us right where we want to be heading into next week,
but we still have a lot of work to do," Borseth said. "Any time you go to your
rivals' floor and come away with a big win, you know you're on the right track."
Ritchie scored the first nine points for Green Bay in
the contest and opened the game with her first of five first-half triples. Her
five scores from long range set a new career high for 3-point field goals made.
Milwaukee responded with a three of its own, but Ritchie went downtown for the
answer and the 6-3 lead. The Panthers hit a three on the other end, but again
Ritchie replied for a 9-6 advantage.
Knotted at 9-9 after yet another Milwaukee three,
Breannah Ranger scored down low to spark a 17-2 run. Redshirt senior Stephanie Sension (Hopkins, Minn.)
capped off the run with a free throw before Milwaukee scored on a jumper after
being held scoreless for nearly six minutes.
Bauer dueled it out in a back-and-forth battle from
behind the arc with the Panthers after answering a Milwaukee triple to push the
lead to 34-21. The Panthers replied from long range, but it was Bauer who
connected on her fourth three of the half to keep the lead at 13 with a 37-24
Green Bay closed the first half on a 7-2 run with four
points from Sension to take a 41-26 advantage to the locker room. In the first
half alone, Green Bay shot 51.9 percent from the field and an incredible 9-13
from downtown for a 69.2 percent mark.
Bauer carried her red-hot shooting over to the second
half as she opened the final frame with a triple to push the lead to 44-26.
Milwaukee cut the lead to 44-30 just over a minute later, but it would be as
close as the home team would get the rest of the way.
Eichler pushed the lead to 20 points with a pair of
free throws at the 10:03 mark, giving the visitors a 61-41 advantage. Eichler
scored just three points, but continued her impressive assist streak with six
in the game.
Borseth was able to give his reserve players
significant time late in the game, including redshirt freshman Taylor Thomas (Wausau, Wis.) who scored
four points to help lead the Phoenix to its 24-point victory.
Green Bay shot 47.9 percent from the field with an
impressive 12-20 mark from long range for a 60 percent outing. Bauer finished
6-9 from behind the arc, tying her career high for 3-point field goals made in
a game. In the effort, she moved into a tie for fifth-place in program history
with 156 triples.
"We don't like to rely on shooting the three, but it's
nice to know that when we have to we can step up and make those shots," Borseth
Ritchie finished with 19 points on a 5-6 effort from
long range and added seven rebounds and four assists. Sension had 11 points,
while Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.)
chipped in 10 points on a 6-6 day from the charity stripe.
Milwaukee was led by Ashley Green with 20 points on
9-17 shooting. Fellow Panther Emily Decorah hit her 94th triple of the season in the effort, a record for both the Panthers and the Horizon League for 3-point
field goals made in a season.
The win was the 21st straight for the Phoenix, which
will open the 2013 Horizon League tournament on Wednesday at home as the No. 1
seed in the quarterfinal round. Green Bay will play the winner of Valparaiso and UIC, who play in the No. 8/No. 9 play-in game on Monday.
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on Green Bay Athletics, please visit GreenBayPhoenix.com.
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