Red-hot shooting lifts Green Bay over Raiders
By Murray Gleffe
The Phoenix shot a blazing 60% from the floor in the first half and ran away from Wright State in a 78-67 Horizon League game Nov. 20 at the Kress Events Center.
“We put up 49 in the first half,” Green Bay Head Coach Kevin Borseth said. “We went at (Wright State) – we needed to do that. We were stagnant the last game we played. After the opening turnovers, we attacked them, and it put us in a good pattern for the rest of the half and game.”
Hailey Oskey led Green Bay for the second straight night, finishing with 21 points and five assists.
Brooklyn Blackburn added 15 points in 23 minutes of action.
The Raiders put four into double figures, paced by Destyne Jackson’s 17 points.
Green Bay (2-2 overall, 1-1 Horizon League) shot 47.5% from the floor overall and connected on 16-of-17 free throws.
The Phoenix had 15 assists and seven steals but more importantly, outscored the Raiders 44-16 in the paint.
With Wright State up 8-3, Green Bay went on a 14-0 blitz to take a 17-8 lead.
It started with a three-point play by Callie Genke and ended with Jasmine Kondrakiewicz drilling a 25-foot triple with the shot clock expiring.
Later, the Raiders (0-4, 0-2) got careless on an inbounds play.
Bailey Butler stole the pass and fed Oskey, who banked in the layup to increase Green Bay’s lead.
“We’re still figuring out how one another plays,” Oskey said. “I feel a little pressure. I felt bad in the beginning when I wasn’t producing. When I’m not hitting shots, I need to do other things like play good defense.”
Wright State closed the Green Bay margin to 33-27 with less than seven minutes remaining in the second quarter, but the Phoenix continued to scorch the nets, ending the half with a pair of jumpers by Cassie Schiltz and Blackburn to lead 49-32 at halftime.
A couple of minutes into the second half, Blackburn went coast-to-coast for a layup with no resistance to build the Phoenix lead to 53-35.
“(Blackburn) has the ability,” Borseth said. “Sometimes, she gets her heart going a little faster than needed. However, she’s an athlete and made lots of good things happen today.”
The Raiders closed the gap with a late third-quarter surge to trim the lead to 53-44 with 4:36 remaining in the quarter.
It was the final time the visitors kept the game within single digits.
On Green Bay’s next possession, Meghan Pingel, who went scoreless in the previous game, scored two points on a difficult paint look.
It was followed by a pair of free throws by Oskey and a layup by Sydney Levy to give the Phoenix a 64-47 lead through three quarters.
“I knew (the Raiders) were going to make a run,” Borseth said. “We needed to answer it in a big way.”
The home team put the game away in the opening minutes of the final quarter by scoring on a multitude of second-chance opportunities for a 75-54 lead.
Wright State finished on a flurry, but it was too little too late for a team that had 15 turnovers overall.
Green Bay is back in action when it takes on Oklahoma State and Southern Methodist University (SMU) Nov. 26 -27 as part of the South Point Thanksgiving Shootout in Las Vegas.
“I don’t know if Las Vegas is a destination, but it’s a good spot,” Borseth said. “Of course, we play good teams we normally wouldn’t at a neutral site. Those opportunities don’t come around often. I’m not necessarily a gambler. I’ll walk around and watch people. I work too hard for my money. I don’t throw it out there for the most part.”