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Phoenix can’t hold third quarter lead against Coyotes

By Murray Gleffe
Correspondent


GREEN BAY — Three days after putting up 111 points against Central Michigan, the Green Bay women’s basketball team couldn’t hold a third quarter lead to South Dakota.

The Phoenix dropped a 66-60 non-conference game at the Kress Events Center Nov. 9.

“They had one spurt to start the fourth quarter, and that was it,” said Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth. “We kept pounding, and then we had wide-open looks, and they weren’t falling. We had good energy. South Dakota is a good team.”

The game featured eight ties and 15 lead changes.

Frankie Wurtz led Green Bay with a double-double (24 points and 12 rebounds).

Karly Murphy added 12 points, and Anna Dier provided a spark off the bench with seven points and two steals.

The Phoenix shot 36.4 percent from the field, including hitting 5-of-24 shots from behind the arc.

Green Bay guard No. 14 Meghan Pingel connects on a free-throw jumper in the second half. Photo by Murray Gleffe

Ciara Duffy led three Coyotes in double figures with 23 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.

The Phoenix took an early 4-2 lead after Wurtz fed a beautiful dime to Murphy, who put in the easy basket.

However, the Coyotes then started to imply their fierce inside game, as they went on a quick 6-0 run midway through the first quarter to go up 11-6.

Monica Arens jacked a triple to open the second quarter, as South Dakota extended its lead to 14-9.

Down five, Green Bay used an 8-0 run behind the inside-out play of Wurtz and Murphy to go up 17-14 with 6:43 left until halftime.

As the half wore on, both teams struggled to find the basket.

The game was deadlocked at 22 at intermission.

Three lead changes ensued to start the third quarter.

After Madison Wolf knocked down a baseline jumper, the Phoenix took a 31-26 lead.

UWGB maintained a margin down the stretch of the quarter after Wurtz hit a floater in the lane before the shot clock expired.

“That’s what she does,” said Borseth of Wurtz’s performance. “This is a new role for her, and she has put the time in.”

With Green Bay up 44-43 to start the fourth quarter, they had the No. 1 ranked mid-major team (collegeinsider.com poll) where they wanted them on their home floor.

South Dakota then showcased their talent by going on a game-changing 14-4 run to start the final quarter.

With three pointers and high-low action between Taylor Frederick and Duffy, the Coyotes went up 57-48 with 3:14 left.

“We have a lot of good shooters and scorers,” said Wurtz. “We showed that last game, but we didn’t knock down those shots in the fourth quarter today.”

Green Bay battled back to 64-60 with 37 seconds left after Wurtz connected on a pair of free throws but couldn’t claw any closer.

The Phoenix (1-1) will host the Southeastern Conference’s Missouri Tigers Nov. 16 in a 1 p.m. game.

Editor’s note: South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit coached under Borseth while at Green Bay, Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan.

Box score

South Dakota: 11, 11, 21, 23—66

Green Bay: 9, 13, 22, 16—60

Coyotes: Duffy 23, Arens 14, Lamb 10, Sjerven 8, McKeever 7, Frederick 4

Phoenix: Wurtz 24, Murphy 12, Pingel 7, Dier 7, Hibner 4, Robson 2, Brecht 2, Wolf 2

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