Phoenix overcome first-half deficit to defeat Titans
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — The Green Bay women’s basketball team fought back from a seven-point, first-half deficit to defeat Detroit Mercy 61-48 in a Horizon League game Jan. 9 at the Kress Events Center.
It was the fourth straight victory for the Phoenix (5-4 overall, 4-2 Horizon League), who started the year with only one win out of their first five games.
“We never got any rhythm going in the first half,” said Kevin Borseth, Green Bay head coach. “In the second half, we did a better job of moving around. We got more looks and were lots more aggressive.”
Caitlyn Hibner led Green Bay with 20 points and nine rebounds, landing one board short of a double-double.
Lyndsey Robson and Brooklyn Blackburn each added 10 points for the Phoenix.
Green Bay held a 35-26 advantage on the glass but had 13 turnovers.
Each team shot below 50 percent from the floor, with the Phoenix connecting on only 5-of-23 shots from beyond the arc.
Kaela Webb led Detroit (1-11, 1-7) with 15 points.
Hibner scored the first five points of the game, as Green Bay built a 9-7 lead with 3:01 left in the opening quarter.
“We’re starting to find our groove,” said Hibner. “We’re a young team, and we dropped a few games early trying to figure things out. I like the direction we’re going. I am a senior and have height. Rebounding is a big deal for our team.”
Detroit then turned up its full-court pressure, forcing the Phoenix into errant and quick shots, while going on a run to take a 24-17 lead with 6:44 left until halftime.
While the Titans connected on six, first-half triples, Green Bay was pounding it down low, with 20 of its 28 points coming in the paint.
“Detroit did a good job with its perimeter defense,” added Borseth. “It (paint looks) was the only thing we could get. Thank goodness we had that. It’s something we utilize with our big kids, whether its low or high in the blocks.”
Green Bay closed the second quarter strong to cut the margin to a single point (29-28) at intermission.
The Phoenix opened the third quarter with eight straight points as part of a 13-0 run which spanned the second and third quarters to take their biggest lead of the game, 36-29.
Detroit chipped away at the lead with good outside shooting.
After Webb went in for a layup after a steal, the Titans clawed back to even at 43-43 with eight minutes to go.
During the span, Borseth was called for a technical foul for something he didn’t like on the floor.
Robson regained the lead with a 3-pointer off a designed set-play to put Green Bay up 46-43 with 7:01 remaining.
The Phoenix ended the game with an 18-5 run to win going away.
“Detroit is tough to guard,” Borseth said. “That little zero (Webb) can play. I’m happy we competed. Our kids battled to get this win.”
Detroit Mercy: 12, 17, 10, 9 — 48
Green Bay: 11, 17, 13, 20 — 61
Titans: Webb 15, Corcoran 9, Fox 7, Harrison 6, Reiff 5, McCormick 3, Starks 3.
Phoenix: Hibner 20, Robson 10, Blackburn 10, Levy 8, Kondrakiewicz 7, Oskey 4, Schiltz 2.