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Phoenix women sit atop Horizon League

Allie Reinikainen, Sports Editor
February 6, 2013
Filed under Sports

The Green Bay women’s basketball team took charge of the Horizon League over the holiday break as it increased its winning streak to 12 games.

With non-conference wins over North Dakota State University, Wichita State, St. Bonaventure and Wisconsin, Green Bay took to its Horizon League opener with high hopes. Green Bay first took on the Detroit Titans, the only team to beat the Phoenix in the regular season last year.

With the No. 2 leading scorer in the NCAA, Shareeta Brown, coming into the game with an average of 26.0 points per game, Green Bay held her to just eight in the contest. Senior guard Adrian Ritchie paced Green Bay with 19 points in the 62-31 win over the Titans.

To end a three-game homestand, Green Bay rolled past the Wright State Raiders Jan. 12, winning 71-44, led by senior forward Sarah Eichler’s 24 points. Redshirt junior Breannah Ranger recorded her first double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds in the contest.

Green Bay then took to the road for a 52-49 comeback victory over Cleveland State as it continued its winning streak to eight. Cleveland State went into halftime with a 24-14 lead, but with combined efforts from Ritchie, redshirt senior forward Stephanie Sension and Eichler, Green Bay pulled off the victory. The 17 points from Eichler inched her closer to the 1,000-point mark for her career.

Still on the road, senior forward Lydia Bauer led Green Bay in its march past the Youngstown Penguins Jan. 19 with 15 points in the 59-41 victory. The win increased Green Bay’s winning streak to nine games. It was the 12th time in the last 16 games this season Green Bay held its opponent to less than 50 points.

Green Bay picked up its 10th straight victory of the season over Valparaiaso 78-55 Jan. 26, continuing its four-game road trip. Ritchie led all scorers with 15 points but came up just shy of a triple-double for the night, with eight rebounds and eight assists. Ranger and Eichler added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Ranger led Green Bay with 14 points in the last of its four-game road trip against the Wright State Raiders Jan. 28 at the Wright State Nutter Center. Green Bay emerged with a 70-48 victory. Ranger had help from Ritchie and Sension, who both added 13 points in the contest. With the win, Green Bay improved its record to 16-2 on the season and 6-0 in Horizon League play before it headed home for its first game at the Kress Events Center since Jan. 12.

Feb. 2 proved to be a historic day at the Kress as Green Bay took on the University of Illinois-Chicago, smothering the Flames to the tune of a 99-53 victory. Bauer led Green Bay with 23 points, followed by Ranger with 16, a career-high, while redshirt senior Jenny Gilbertson scored 14. Gilbertson also added 13 rebounds, giving her a double-double for the first time in her career. Five players for Green Bay scored 12 points or more in the contest.

The 99 points scored by the Phoenix was sixth-most in the history of the program, while Green Bay’s 34 assists broke the previous record of 33. After a pair of free throws from redshirt junior Sam Zastrow in the final seconds of the game, every player to see court time scored. The win over the Flames improved Green Bay’s record to 17-2 for the season and 7-0 in Horizon League play.

Green Bay travels to take on the Loyola Ramblers Feb. 7 before returning home again Feb. 9 to take on the Milwaukee Panthers in the start of a four game homestand.