By Rachel Buck (@GBRachel)
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – After six consecutive games on the road, the Green Bay women’s basketball team returns to the Kress Center on Saturday when it will take on South Dakota State at noon.
Saturday's contest is a Festival Foods Family Game, with youth tickets available for just $3.
The Phoenix plays six of its next seven contests at the Kress Center after playing its last six games on the road, the longest road trip in 14 seasons. Green Bay lost the opener of its road trip, but rallied with five consecutive wins; including taking home tournament titles at Vermont and Maine. Last weekend Green Bay topped the host Black Bears in the Maine Thanksgiving Tournament, 66-49, on Saturday. Senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) was named the tournament MVP and was joined by freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) on the all-tournament team.
This season, sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) leads the team with 10.4 points/game. Ranger is right on her heels with 10.1 points/game and a team-best 7.7 rebounds/game, while Buck leads the team with 4.4 assists/game and a 3.9 assist/turnover ratio.
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. The game will also be aired live on the Horizon League Network, and live stats will be available.
Saturday’s contest will mark just the second time Green Bay and South Dakota State have faced each other on the court. The Phoenix took the first-ever meeting, 86-52, at home on January 18, 2005. The 2004-05 season was the Jackrabbits’ first year of Division I competition, as it competed as an independent while transitioning from Division II. Current Green Bay assistant coach and former Jackrabbit Megan Vogel led SDSU in scoring that game with 14 points in addition to six rebounds and four assists.
South Dakota State enters the weekend with an overall record of 5-4, most recently defeating NJIT at home, 71-46, on Monday. Last weekend the Jackrabbits played in the Puerto Vallarta Hardwood Tournament of Hope, winning its first contest against TCU (57-52) before dropping consecutive games to No. 5 Stanford (80-60) and Florida Gulf Coast (84-59). SDSU is a perfect 4-0 at home this season, but just 1-4 on the road/neutral site.
Megan Wayashek has started all 9 games for the Jackrabbits and has a team best 13.2 points/game while scoring in double figures eight out of the nine games this season. Scoring options vary from there, as SDSU has six players averaging 5.0-9.0 points/game behind Wayashek. Other team leaders include Mariah Clarin with 5.9 rebounds/game and Gabby Boever with 3.4 assists/game and 2.1 steals/game.
1. Home Sweet Home: The Phoenix returns to the friendly confines of the Kress Center after concluding its longest road game streak (six games) in 14 seasons last weekend at Maine. Green Bay will now play six of its next seven contests at home, minus a trip to Madison to take on the Badgers on Dec. 30. Since the Kress opened in 2007 the Phoenix has gone 96-6 at home, including winning its last 19 regular season games dating back to Feb. 9, 2012 (vs. Detroit, L, 70-58).
2. Leader of the Pack: With a 90-44 win over William and Mary last Friday, Head Coach Kevin Borseth earned his 250th win at the helm of the Phoenix, becoming the fastest to 250 wins in program history. In 317 career games over 11 seasons Borseth is now 251-66 (.792). Carol Hammerle (1973-98) is the all-time winningest coach at Green Bay with 456 career wins over 25 seasons. It took Hammerle 376 games over 15 seasons to reach 250 wins.
3. Out of the Gates: Green Bay has set the tone early in its games, outscoring the opposition by a combined 87 points (245-158) in the first half. Duquesne is the only team to outscore the Phoenix in the first 20 minutes this season (31-29), but the Phoenix responded to eventually win the contest, 68-60.
4. December to Remember: The Phoenix faces a tough slate in competition in December, taking on South Dakota State, Wichita State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Entering this week Purdue is ranked nationally (16/22), while Wichita State (13) is ranked and South Dakota State is receiving votes in the latest CollegeInsider.com Mid-Major Poll.
5. Diverse Options: Coupled with strong play from its starting five this season, Green Bay has also been able to use its bench wisely, helping the young roster gain experience while also contributing to the final outcome. All 12 players on the roster have appeared in at least one game and have at least one point, with bench players totaling 162 of Green Bay’s 435 points, including a season-high 54 last Friday in a win over William and Mary. In total, seven Phoenix have had double-digit scoring games during this season.
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