By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team opens its season at home for the first time in 26 seasons as it welcomes Northern Illinois to the Kress Center on Friday at 7 p.m.
Starting its season at home for the first time in the Division I era, Green Bay will take on once longtime rival NIU. Both teams once belonged to the North Star Conference, Mid-Continent Conference and MCC from 1988-97. The Huskies own a 13-12 advantage in the series, but Green Bay has won the last six games. In the last meeting between the two teams on November 28, 2007 the Phoenix earned a 76-54 win at the Kress Center, the first ever regular season game at the facility.
Fans can listen live to the game on Green Bay's new radio partner, WNFL 1440 AM. The live audio with Bruce VandenPlas on the call will also be available for free via GreenBayPhoenix.com or on the Green Bay Phoenix App on IOS and Android devices. Live stats and live video will also be available on GreenBayPhoenix.com.
In a pregame ceremony, the Phoenix will add the newest banners to the rafters from its Horizon League title and NCAA Tournament appearances last season.
Green Bay takes to the court after winning both of its exhibition gamesthe past two weekends. Junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) led the team in preseason action, posting a double-double average over the two contests (13.5 pts., 10 reb.). As a team, the Phoenix averaged a +16.5 turnover margin, forcing its opponents into 52 turnovers while committing just 19.
NIU returns two starters from a team that went 7-23 last season and 2-14 in the MAC. Amanda Corral and Jenna Thorp were the only two players to start all 29 games last season for the Huskies. Corral led the team with 12.7 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game while Thorp averaged 6.3 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
1. Home Sweet Home: For the first time in 26 seasons and the first in the Division I era, the Phoenix will open its regular season at home. The team’s last home start was during the 1986-87 season against Bemidji State, its final season in the NAIA. Since the Kress opened in 2007 the Phoenix has gone 95-6 at home, including winning its last 19 regular season games dating back to Feb. 9, 2012 (vs. Detroit, L, 70-58).
2. Winning Ways: In addition to its success at the Kress, Green Bay is also
currently riding a 21 game winning streak dating back to Dec. 8 of last
season. It is the fourth-longest regular season winning streak in program history.
3. For Starters: Green Bay is 25-15 in season openers since its first season in 1973, and has won six consecutive openers dating back to the start of the 2007-08 campaign.
4. Closing in on 250: Head Coach Kevin Borseth is closing in on his 250th win at the helm of the Phoenix. In 310 career games over 10 seasons in Green Bay, Borseth is
245-65 (.790). Carol Hammerle (1973-98) is the all-time winningest coach at Green Bay with 456 career wins over 25 seasons.
5. Green Bay Ties: NIU Head Coach Kathi Bennett has deep ties to Green Bay Phoenix athletics. The daughter of legendary former men’s head coach Dick Bennett and sister to current UVA head coach and former Phoenix standout Tony Bennett, Kathi made her own impact on Green Bay athletics, donning a Phoenix uniform for two seasons (1983-84 & 84-85) while earning her bachelor’s degree from the university.
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