Kondrakiewicz nets double-double in Phoenix win
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY — When the rest of the team couldn’t hit a shot, Jasmine Kondrakiewicz grabbed multiple offensive rebounds to keep the Green Bay women’s basketball team alive in the first half.
Kondrakiewicz, a 6-foot-1 forward from Pius High School (Milwaukee), helped lead the Phoenix back from a halftime deficit in an 80-56 Horizon League win Feb. 12 over UIC at the Kress Events Center.
Kondrakiewicz led Green Bay (12-6 overall, 11-4 Horizon) with 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Sydney Levy added 17 points, and Meghan Pingel registered nine assists for the Phoenix.
“The first half I felt like UIC was playing a Nintendo game,” said Kevin Borseth, Green Bay head coach. “They controlled us the whole half. We didn’t have a spark. We came out in the second half with more aggression, and it helped us.”
The Flames (3-12, 1-10) were paced by Kristian Young’s 17 points.
Green Bay shot 50 percent from the field, connecting on 33 of its 66 shots.
In addition, the Phoenix grabbed 16 more rebounds (40-24 advantage) than UIC.
The Flames took a 20-16 lead after the first quarter behind sizzling 3-point shooting and no turnovers.
The Phoenix regained the lead, 24-23, after back-to-back baskets by Kondrakiewicz — kept alive by offensive rebounds.
“We scored lots of points off second chances,” Borseth said. “It was a big piece of the game today. Jasmine had a super game.”
However, the Flames kept scorching the nets behind Lindsey Rogers and Young.
UIC took a 37-35 into halftime behind 7-of-12 shooting from beyond the arc.
The Phoenix went on a quick eight-point spurt to start the third quarter, but UIC evened the score, 45-45, after Tiana Jackson connected on a 12-foot jumper.
It was the final time the Flames would stay even with Green Bay.
The Phoenix then turned up their perimeter defense.
Levy and the rest of her teammates started finding the bottom of the net on their second-half shots.
“Sydney has no fear,” said Borseth. “She’s a scorer. She didn’t shoot well in the first half, but she stuck with it. That’s what shooters do. She’s been a great addition to our program.”
After three consecutive makes by Levy and two free throws by Lyndsey Robson, Green Bay built its biggest lead of the game, 59-46, with 9:03 remaining.
Much of the production came via Pingel, who dished out multiple assists in the second half.
“When Meghan plays well, we play well,” Borseth said. “She took control, specifically in the third quarter, and pushed things to the rim to make key plays for our team.”
A bit later, Cassie Schiltz (Luxemburg-Casco High School) connected on a baseline jumper to give the home team a commanding 70-51 lead with five minutes to go.
When it was all said and done, Green Bay held UIC to only 19 second-half points in the victory.
Green Bay will host UIC Saturday, Feb. 13, to conclude the second game of the back-to-back series.
UIC: 20, 17, 8, 11 — 56
Green Bay: 16, 19, 21, 24 — 80
Flames: Young 17, Rogers 14, Nneji 8, Schenck 8, Jackson 6, Case 3.
Phoenix: Kondrakiewicz 18, Levy 17, Hibner 16, Robson 10, Pingel 7, Oskey 5, Schiltz 4, Foster 3.