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Phoenix advance to Horizon title game

INDIANAPOLIS – The Green Bay women’s basketball team is headed back to the Horizon League Championship after outlasting No. 6 Purdue Fort Wayne on Monday in the semifinals, 69-65. The Phoenix will take on No. 2 Cleveland State on Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.
The Phoenix (27-4) had four players score in double figures, led by Cassie Schiltz, who had 17 points and seven rebounds. Sydney Levy tacked on 14 points and four assists while Natalie McNeal had a near double-double in 20 minutes with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Green Bay grabbed 38 rebounds in Monday’s game compared to Purdue Fort Wayne’s 32, led by McNeal’s nine. The Phoenix also put in work on the offensive glass, turning 11 rebounds into six second chance points.
Green Bay did a great job disrupting Purdue Fort Wayne shots in the contest, coming away with seven blocks. Jasmine Kondrakiewicz’s five rejections led the way individually for the Phoenix and is the most in a single game since Nicole Soulis had five in 2006.
The Mastodons came to play early, going up 15-5 after a Sylare Starks jumper with 3:18 left in the first. Green Bay struggled to generate much offense in the frame, finishing the quarter 2-for-16 (12.5 percent) and going into the quarter break down 17-7.
PFW held the Phoenix at bay for most of the quarter, leading 30-21 with just 2:37 to go in the first half. However, the Phoenix responded with an 11-2 run that was capped off by a McNeal buzzer beater to help GB tie the game at 32 heading into halftime. Green Bay saw non-starters score 13 of its 25 total points off the bench in the quarter.
Green Bay used that end of the half momentum and ripped off another 7-0 run, punctuated by a basket from Callie Genke, to grab a 41-34 lead with 6:52 to go in the third. Before the conclusion of the third period, the Mastodons would cut into that lead somewhat, with the Phoenix maintaining a 52-47 edge.
After five points in the game’s first three quarters, Levy finished the game strong. Green Bay’s leading scorer came alive with three threes in three minutes to give GB a 63-52 lead with 5:42 left in the game. The Mastodons would not go away, bringing the game back to within four with just over two minutes to go. The Phoenix was able to close PFW out thanks to a Bailey Butler jumper and pair of free throws.

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