Green Bay suffers shooting woes in Horizon League opener
By Murray Gleffe
GREEN BAY – The UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team couldn’t make a basket when it mattered most.
The Phoenix went 20-of-66 from the floor and lost to Northern Kentucky 61-52 in a Horizon League game Nov. 18 at the Kress Events Center.
“We have to be perfect defensively until we can get some type of rhythm on the offensive end,” Green Bay Head Coach Kevin Borseth said. “We’re trying to find our method of operation. We need to have everybody on the same page and find our mojo.”
Hailey Oskey led Green Bay (1-2 overall, 0-1 Horizon) with 19 points.
Maddy Schreiber was the only other Phoenix player in double figures with 11 points and nine rebounds in 28 minutes of action.
Leading scorer Meghan Pingel went 0-10 from the floor and didn’t score in the contest.
The Norse were paced by Lindsey Duvall, a Louisville transfer, who had 19 points.
Grayson Rose chipped in 12 points, 18 rebounds and six blocks.
Northern Kentucky (2-1, 1-0 ) took an early 13-6 lead behind the hot hand of Duvall.
Despite the cold shooting, the Phoenix cut the lead to 15-11 after Oskey nailed a triple from the top of the key.
Midway through the second quarter, Phoenix center Julia Hartwig injected some energy into the defense by taking away paint touches and forcing the Norse into several turnovers.
With less than a minute remaining before halftime, Green Bay’s Bailey Butler hit a three-pointer near the Northern Kentucky bench.
However, the Norse took a 30-22 lead into halftime.
The Phoenix were fortunate to be down eight at halftime after connecting on only 8-of-33 shots from the floor in the first 20 minutes.
Northern Kentucky opened the third quarter with an 8-3 run to grab its biggest lead of the night at 38-25.
Green Bay closed to a couple of possessions the rest of the quarter but never could bring the game back to even.
Entering the final quarter, down nine points at 46-37, Oskey did all she could to keep her team alive and kicking.
Rose also made life harder because she corraled every defensive board after a Phoenix miss.
“We looked at film the other day on how to handle and prepare ball screens,” Borseth said. “We got some of the switches we wanted, but then we went up against (Rose) and she blocked shot after shot. We played right into her hands. She’s a big kid. We need to be smarter.”
In the final 10 minutes, Green Bay went with a smaller lineup to try and draw mismatches and generate some offense.
Oskey connected on a point-blank layup and a pair of free throws to bring the Phoenix to within 48-43 with 7:13 left.
“If every game, every player came out with that mentality, it would make life a whole lot easier,” Borseth said. “(Oskey) played well. She kept us in the game right to the end.”
Later, Schreiber grabbed an offensive rebound and put it home to bring Green Bay within 54-50 with about three minutes remaining, but Northern Kentucky connected on its free throws down the stretch.
“(Schreiber) was tired at the end of the game,” Borseth said. “She was a trooper and went right at their defenders. She knows how to play and has some nice tools. You’ll hear lots of good things from her down the road.”
Green Bay is back in action Saturday, Nov. 20, when it hosts Wright State at 1 p.m. in another Horizon League game.