The Green Bay women’s basketball team clinched its 14th consecutive regular season Horizon League championship on Saturday after the Phoenix dispatched Butler to move to 15-1 in League play.
The Phoenix improved to 25-1 on the season with their only loss coming to Detroit. The Titans are currently tied for second place in the conference with Wright State. Both teams have 12-4 marks in League play after both won home games on Saturday. The Titans held off Youngstown State at home, while Wright State scored 100 points, the most by a Horizon League team this season, in defeating Cleveland State.
In other League games on Saturday, Loyola rebounded from a tough couple of weeks to knock off cross-town rival UIC, 70-66. Milwaukee had its first 2-0 weekend of the conference season with a 50-31 victory over Valparaiso. The 31 points Valparaiso was held to was the lowest point total a Horizon League team has held an opponent to this season.
Next weekend marks the final weekend of regular season play for all 10 teams. There is still a lot up for grabs as only top-seeded Green Bay is locked into its seed for the upcoming conference tournament.
Detroit 67, Youngstown State 64
It was a festive day in Calihan Hall as the Titans honored their two seniors – Lauren Allen and Jalesa Jones – prior to the game and then UDM gave them the best gift they could as Detroit held off Youngstown State, 67-64, on Saturday.
The win keeps the Titans in a second-place tie with Wright State as UDM improved to 16-12, 12-4 in the Horizon League. Detroit does own the tiebreaker over the Raiders at the moment. Youngstown State dropped to 10-18, 4-13 in the conference.
Sophomore Senee Shearer had 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting, including setting a new career high with six 3-pointers. The 20-point contest was also her seventh of the year, while Jones ended with 14 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Freshman Shareta Brown was a force inside posting her 11th double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. She also played tough down low helping to limit YSU's Brandi Brown – the HL Preseason Player of the Year – to just two points on 0-of-8 shooting.
The Titans were ahead by 11, 61-50, with 8:20 left when the Penguins started to stage a comeback by going on a 10-2 run over the next seven minutes. They got within three when Shearer connected on her career-best sixth trifecta to push the lead to six, 66-60, with 1:34 remaining. Jones added a free throw to give UDM a seven-point advantage, but two free throws followed by a Penguins basket made it just a 67-64 contest with 46 seconds left.
YSU actually went to the line looking to make it a three-point play, but missed the free throw and the Titans started their possession with Brown corralling the board. After Detroit turned it over, the Penguins had a chance to tie the game, but their last second 3-pointer bounced off the rim as the red, white and blue earned the victory.
The Titans shot nearly 50% in the game, ending at 48.1% on 25-of-52 from the field. They also won the battle of the boards, 37-32.
Junior Yar Shayoktallied eight points and three rebounds, while sophomore Megan Hatter pulled down a career-high nine boards.
Detroit held Youngstown State to 34.5% from the field and Kenya Middlebrooks to just nine points. Back in the January match-up, Middlebrooks had 30 on eight 3-pointers in the game.
The Titans saw the Penguins net the first points of the game, but then took control after that with a 21-6 run to jump out in front, 21-8, eight minutes into the contest. Shearer had a pair of treys in that spurt, while Jones had six points of her own.
UDM ran its lead to as many as 16, 31-15, but saw the Penguins end the half on a 15-4 run.
Detroit pushed its lead back to double digits again at 43-33, but YSU would come back to get within two, 43-41 at the 15:29 mark, thanks to an 8-0 charge.
The red, white and blue never let the lead slip away and extended its advantage back to double digits. Detroit was up, 50-47, when it went on an 11-3 run to take a 61-50 lead with 8:20 remaining. Brown started it with an offensive rebound and a put back and that was followed with a triple from Shearer. Both teams traded free throws before Brown hit two from the line to make it a 58-48 game. After a YSU basket, Brown got inside again and finished with a foul, converting the three-point play for the Titan 11-point lead.
Detroit – which has already secured a home playoff game – will be back in action next week as the Titans visit the Hoosier State to battle Butler on Thursday and Valparaiso on Saturday to close out the regular season.
Green Bay 78, Butler 53
Senior Julie Wojta posted her fifth consecutive double-double, scoring a game-high 27 points while grabbing 13 rebounds as No. 12/12 Green Bay (25-1, 15-1 HL) scored 46 points in the second half en route to its 78-53 win over Butler (12-15, 8-8 HL) Saturday at a sold out Kress Events Center. With the win, Green Bay owns sole possession of its 14th consecutive regular season Horizon League championship.
It was a tight game early with Wojta scoring eight of Green Bay’s first 12 points. The Bulldogs took the 13-12 lead with a three pointer from Mandy McDivitt with 11:12 to play in the opening half.
A drive on the left baseline by senior Hannah Quilling gave the Phoenix the 14-13 advantage at the 9:09 mark. Green Bay also scored on its next two possessions to build its lead to 18-13 before the Bulldogs’ Becca Bornhorst sank a jumper to cut the Phoenix lead back to three.
After a called time out at 4:31, Green Bay went on a 6-0 run capped off with a coast-to-coast drive and bucket from Eichler for the 24-15 lead. The Bulldogs closed the Phoenix lead to eight (28-20) with 1:29 to play before Wojta grabbed an offensive rebound and bucket, making it a 10-point game with 1:02 remaining in the first half.
A pair of free throws from Butler’s Devin Brierly again pulled the Bulldogs within eight before the Phoenix closed the half with an alley-oop layup from Wojta, giving Green Bay the 32-22 lead at the break.
The Phoenix turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, the most against a conference opponent this season in the opening half of play. Green Bay shot 50 percent (16-of-32) from the field but never made a trip to the free throw line in the opening half while going 0-for-8 from three-point range.
Bauer opened the second half with a three from the right corner, sparking an 8-0 run by the Phoenix which featured a steal, layup and free throw by Wojta, forcing Butler to call time out trailing 39-22.
Butler came within 15 (44-29) after McDivitt sank a three with 16:59 to play before the Phoenix boosted its lead to 19 when Bauer stole the ball and took it the distance for the layup. A putback from Wojta with 12:53 to play gave the Phoenix it first 20-point lead of the game (51-31).
The Bulldogs outscored Green Bay 9-4 throughout the next four minutes to cut the Phoenix lead back to 15 (58-43) with 6:03 remaining. Three consecutive points from Jenny Gilbertson and a pair of jumpers from Wojta and Bauer, put the Phoenix up 20 with 4:40 to play, putting the game out of reach for the Bulldogs.
Bauer led all players with all 13 of her points coming in the second half while Wojta chipped in 11 points and grabbed seven rebounds in the closing half.
Green Bay finished the game scoring a season-high 56 points in the paint while its 34 made field goals tied a Kress Center record.
In addition to Wojta’ s 27 points and 13 rebounds, the senior captain also had a game-high six steals and five assists. Her double-double performance marked the 30th of her career.
Junior Adrian Ritchie added 10 points while Stephanie Sension chipped in nine in 10 minutes of play.
Green Bay will head to the windy city for a pair of games to wrap up its regular season competition. The Phoenix will play Loyola Thursday, Mar. 1 at 7 p.m. before traveling to UIC Saturday, Mar. 3 to battle the Flames at 3 p.m.
Loyola 70, UIC 66
Patrice King scored a team-high 25 points and Loyola scored the first 11 points of the game and never looked back, earning a hard-fought 70-66 win over UIC this afternoon at the UIC Pavilion. The Ramblers move to 12-15 (7-9 Horizon) on the season, racking up their eighth away win of the year, their highest total since the 1988-89 season. UIC drops to 16-11 (9-7).
Patrice King scored the middle six points in Loyola's game-opening 11-0 run, a spurt capped by a Katie Kortekamp three-pointer. King continued to light up the scoreboard, scoring 15 of LU's first 20 points to help the Ramblers to a 20-8 lead after nine minutes. Monica Albano had a three-pointer and a traditional three-point play to give LU its largest lead of the half (27-11) and the visitors took a 34-22 lead into halftime, holding UIC to 26% shooting in the period.
A three-point play early in the second half made it a 41-24 game before UIC began to chip away. An Emily Kobel three-pointer pulled the Flames within 10 (43-33) with 10:06 on the clock but the Rambler quickly built the lead back up, using another three-point play from Albano and a triple from Lyndsey Booker to restore their 17-point edge (55-38) at the 6:27 mark.
UIC made one final push over the final three minutes, finally cutting the Loyola lead to single digits (62-53) on a Jasmine Bailey three-point play with 2:23 left. The lead was back to 10 after a pair of Ayrealle Beavers free throws with 41 ticks on the clock but the Flames managed to make it a four-point game with nine seconds left after a Taylor Foulks put-back. However, Booker hit a pair from the line and Bailey made a lay-up in the final second to account for the final score.
King was terrific, finishing with 25 points, one shy of her career high, while hitting 10-of-11 from the free throw line. Albano also had a solid game, racking up 16 points and six rebounds, while LU also received big contributions fromLauren Hibberd (nine points, seven rebounds in first career start) and Booker (seven points off the bench).
"Patrice really got us going today," continued Simpson. "I thought she set the tone from the opening tap and it was great to see her and Monica get back to scoring the ball, something we really on to be successful."
Bailey led UIC with 27 points, including a 12-for-20 effort from the free throw line.
Loyola wraps up the regular season with a pair of home games next week, starting with a Thursday night clash against No. 12 Green Bay. Tip-off from Gentile Arena is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Milwaukee 50, Valparaiso 31
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee women's basketball team allowed the fewest points in program history in claiming a 50-31 victory over Valparaiso University Saturday afternoon at the Klotsche Center.
The strong defensive effort by the Panthers (9-28, 5-11 Horizon League) limited the Crusaders (8-29, 4-12 Horizon League) to 22.0 percent shooting from the floor and 5.6 percent from three-point range on the day. In addition to yielding the fewest points in school history, the opponent field goal percentage was the second-lowest ever recorded.
Junior Sami Tucker led Milwaukee with 13 points and also grabbed six rebounds. Sophomore Angela Rodriguez was the only other player in double-figures with 11 and also added six assists.
Kiki Wilson entered play tied with Teri Stoltenberg (1997-98) for the most assists as a freshman in school history with 104. She added four on the day, with the record-breaker coming on a Rodriguez jumper at the 10:47 mark of the first.
Tabitha Gerardot had a team-high 11 points for Valparaiso and added eight rebounds. Gina Lange collected a game-high 10 rebounds while chipping in with six points.
The Crusaders came out early and led, 8-5, at the 16:09 mark on a layup by Gerardot. From there, it was all Panthers, using an 18-2 run to take control. They eventually outscored Valpo, 21-8, the rest of the half to lead by 10 at intermission at 26-16.
The defense was so impressive that it held the Crusaders without a field goal from the 12:54 mark until just 2:15 remained in the first, a span of 10 minutes and 39 seconds. In fact, the 16 first-half points allowed was the fourth-lowest in school history.
The second half was never in doubt. UWM opened on a 9-2 run to take a 35-18 lead on a layup by sophomore Courtney Lindfors with 14:28 to go.
The team eventually built that advantage to its biggest of the game at 22 (50-28) with about three minutes to play. The Panthers were able to empty the bench down the stretch, handily winning back-to-back games to improve the streak to wins in three of their past four.
The 31 points allowed was easily the lowest in UWM's NCAA Division I era (since 1990-91). The former mark was 34 points, coming against Wright State March 8, 2001. The 22.0 percent (11-of-50) field goal defense was second only to a 19.4 percent (13-of-67) performance against Youngstown State March 6 of 2010.
It was a great afternoon overall for Milwaukee, outrebounding its opponent, 39-33, and also recording 18 assists compared to 15 turnovers. The defense also forced 15 miscues, resulting in eight steals.
Freshman Ashley Green added nine points and five rebounds for the Panthers, who also got six points, three rebounds and three assists from Alex Klawitter - the lone member of the "Senior Day" at the Klotsche Center. The assist and rebound totals were season-highs and came in front of a large crowd of about 50 family and friends who made the trip from Janesville to see Klawitter compete in her final regular season home game.
With back-to-back victories, the Panthers have climbed from 10th to seventh in the Horizon League standings as they prepare for the final week of the regular season. Up next, UWM heads to UIC Thursday for a 7 p.m. tip.
Wright State 100, Cleveland State 73
The Wright State women's basketball team tied the school record for threes with 15, 11 in the second half, as the Raiders pulled away for a 100-73 win over Cleveland State Saturday at WSU's Nutter Center.
The Raiders led for most of the first half, but the margin was never greater than eight as the Vikings hung close thanks to 48 percent shooting, including six of 12 from three-point range. Wright State, meanwhile, shot 40 percent in the first half.
Eight straight points, including back-to-back threes from Kim Demmings, made it 54-42, but the lead did not appear safe as Demmings picked up her fourth foul with 14:21 remaining.
Shalonda Winton hit two foul shots on the Demming fourth foul to cut the deficit to 10, but that turned out to be all the closer Cleveland State would get the rest of the way as consecutive Courtney Boyd threes extended the lead to 64-47.
Wright State closed the game out with a flurry over the final 1:05, scoring 11 points to reach the century mark on three Abby Jump three-pointers and a layup from Kirsten Gliesmann.
The Raiders shot 54 percent from the field in the second half, including a blistering 11 of 16 from behind the arc for 69 percent, to finish at 46 percent overall and 50 percent from three. WSU also dominated the boards by a 57-34 count and led 32-16 in points in the paint and 25-9 in second-chance points.
The 15 threes tie the school record set on February 2 against UIC and the 100 points is the first time that the Raiders have reached the century mark since winning 105-86 over St. Joseph's (IN) at the P.E. Building on February 4, 1987, WSU's final season in Division II.
After scoring a career-high 24 Thursday against Youngstown State, Boyd bettered that with 27 Saturday, including seven three-pointers. Demmings added 25 while both of WSU's seniors posted double-doubles in their final regular-season home game (Fox 19 points, 12 rebounds; Sandifer 11 points, 19 rebounds).
Winton led all scorers with 29 for Cleveland State (10-18, 5-12 Horizon) and recorded a double-double as she added 10 rebounds. Honesty King had 11 and Janelle Adams and Kiersten Green 10 each.
With the win, the Raiders will either be the #2 or #3 seed in the Horizon League Tournament that begins on March 5. WSU's first tournament action will be a home game on Wednesday, March 7, at 7:00.
Before then, however, Wright State (19-9, 12-4 Horizon) has two road games on the slate next week to close out the regular season, taking on Valparaiso on Thursday, March 1, at 8:00 Eastern, followed by Butler on Saturday, March 3, at 2:00.
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