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Green Bay holds Oakland to single point in second quarter

By Murray Gleffe

GREEN BAY — The old adage, defense wins basketball games, was never more evident Feb. 16  at the Kress Events Center on the campus of UW-Green Bay.

The Green Bay women’s basketball team held Oakland without a field goal during the second quarter.

It was part of a 32-1 run which propelled the Phoenix to a 76-51 Horizon League victory over Oakland University.

“Oakland scored one point in the second quarter,” said Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth. “We showed lots of energy. They are hard to guard. The last time we played them, two of their kids both had more than 20 points. They also shot multiple free throws. This go around, we did a better job defending them, and it was the separator.”

Frankie Wurtz led the Phoenix (14-12 overall, 9-5 Horizon) with a career-high 28 points, while Caitlyn Hibner had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds.

Oakland (10-15, 5-9) was paced by Alona Blackwell’s 11 points.

Both teams scorched the nets to open up the game, with Green Bay taking an early 10-5 lead after Wurtz hit a three-pointer from 23 feet.

During the possession, Phoenix guard Meghan Pingel played without her shoe, which was lost on the previous defensive possession.

Later in the first quarter, the Wolf sisters – Madison and Mackenzie – worked some high-low magic, as Madison finished around the basket to extend the Phoenix lead.

Oakland guard Kahlaijah Dean hit a runner in the paint as the first quarter buzzer sounded to cut Green Bay’s lead to 19-18.

The hot shooting left Oakland in the second quarter, as they were held without a field goal for the entire 10 minutes.

The only Golden Grizzlies’ point scored was a free throw by Chloe Guingrich.

Oakland committed 16 first-half turnovers.

Meanwhile, the Phoenix flexed their muscle with elbow and baseline jumpers in building a 39-19 lead at halftime.

Much of the damage was done by Wurtz, who had 18 points at the break.

“I had fun playing out there today,” said Wurtz. “We took so many things away from Oakland in the first half, which was key. As far as scoring, my teammates did a fantastic job of setting me up for looks. That’s the great thing about our team – anyone on this team can have that output.”

Green Bay carried the second-quarter momentum into the third, where they scored the first 12 points to take a commanding 51-19 lead.

The Grizzlies finally broke the 12:55 drought without a field goal when Jalisha Terry nailed a three-pointer.

The Phoenix eventually built their biggest lead of the game, 68-34, after Hailey Oskey hit an elbow jumper to start the fourth quarter.

Green Bay finished with reserves and coasted to a 25-point victory on Prevea Health Pinkzone night.

The Phoenix raised almost $6,000 in their efforts to sting cancer.

“I might sound like a broken record on this one, but unless cancer lives in your house, you don’t realize how devastating it is,” said Borseth. “It’s lived in my house, and they get it. Anything we can do to help and try to find ways to rid ourselves or make it easier on family, it’s certainly worth it. The platform today with the generosity was huge.”

Green Bay will travel to UIC and league-leading IUPUI before finishing a two-game home stand against Cleveland St. and Youngstown St. to end the Horizon League regular season.

Box score

Oakland: 18, 1, 14, 18—51

Green Bay: 19, 20, 20, 17—76

Golden Grizzlies: Blackwell 11, Luchenbach 9, Terry 9, Kissman 7, Dean 6, Breedy 3, Heston 3, Gouard 2, Guingrich 1.

Phoenix: Wurtz 28, Oskey 12, Hibner 10, Murphy 10, Madison Wolf 6, Mack Wolf 4, Pingel 2, Gallasova 2, Brecht 2.

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