Green Bay ousted in Horizon title game
BY GREEN BAY ATHLETICS
INDIANAPOLIS – The Green Bay women’s basketball team fell just short of a Horizon League Tournament championship game at the Indiana Farmers Coliseum on Tuesday. The top-seeded Phoenix fell to the No. 2-seeded Cleveland State Vikings, 73-61.
“I’m proud of our kids, they played hard and congratulations to Cleveland State,” Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth said. “They played a perfect game, in my opinion.”
Natalie McNeal put together a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds after scoring 12 fourth-quarter points to lead the Phoenix. Jasmine Kondrakiewicz added eight points, six rebounds and four blocks and Cassie Schiltz — who was named to the all-tournament team — helped out with eight points.
Cleveland State separated themselves with the 3-ball, going 13-for-27 (48.1%) while the Phoenix shot 6-for-31 (19.4%) from beyond the arc.
After falling behind 11-6, Green Bay went on a 10-0 run with 4:44 left in the first quarter, culminating in a bucket from Bailey Butler, to take a 16-11 lead. The Phoenix then lost some of that lead, but still entered the quarter break with a 16-15 advantage. Green Bay did most of its first-quarter damage in the paint, scoring 10 of its 16 points close to the basket.
The Phoenix held onto its lead at the start of the second until the Vikings’ Gabriella Smith hit three consecutive 3-pointers in a three-minute span that punctuated a 19-10 run to give CSU a 34-26 lead. Jenna Guyer scored a left-handed hook shot with 44 seconds to bring the score to 34-28 heading into the half.
Sydney Levy and Callie Genke hit 3-pointers at the start of the second half to cut the CSU lead to 36-34 with 7:27 left in the third. However, the Phoenix struggled to get the offense going after, finishing the third quarter shooting 3-for-18 (16.7%) from the floor. The Vikings took advantage and held a 49-39 lead by the time the third quarter buzzer sounded.
Cleveland State started the fourth with an 11-0 run and held a 60-39 lead with 5:09 to go in the game. Green Bay made it interesting down the stretch thanks to McNeal’s scoring outburst. However, the Phoenix could only bring it at close as 11 with 1:32 left. CSU hit its free throws down the stretch to win the title.
At 27-5, Green Bay is expected to received a bid to play in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT).