Lukan leads Phoenix into postseason

The No. 20/20 Green Bay Women’s basketball team is gearing up for the Horizon League Tournament as the No. 1 seed.

The Phoenix have been following the leadership of seniors this season: guard Adrian Ritchie, forward Sarah Eichler and forward Lydia Bauer. But redshirt sophomore Megan Lukan may be the unsung hero for the Phoenix.

The former Ms. Canada 2010 and Barrie Central High School standout has had a steady season for Green Bay. Lukan leads the team in assists averaging 4.3 per game, and she’s third on the team in steals with 34 on the season. She also averages almost seven points per game.

Recently though, Lukan took her game to another level.

In Green Bay’s last five regular-season games, Lukan averaged 14.4 points and 4.4 assists per contest. She connected on 15 three-pointers over that span after starting the season 6-34 from behind the arc.

Lukan’s offensive game is the rise, but much of what she brings to the table for the Phoenix doesn’t show up on the stat sheet.

“Defensively she does a great job at keeping her girl in front of her,” said Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth. “Offensively, she handles the ball really well and makes great decisions.”

Her teammates and coaches know Lukan as a tough, tenacious defender who refuses to quit on any play.

“She’s feisty and strong,” said redshirt senior forward Jenny Gilberston. Coach Borseth reiterated the same, calling Lukan a “bulldog.”

Lukan also echoed similar things about her own play.

“I’m tough,” Lukan said. “My on-ball defense is my greatest strength. I have confidence in myself that I can shut someone down if I need to.”

Before coming to Green Bay, Lukan played her prep career at Barrie Central. She was named Barrie Central’s female athlete of the year in 2010. Lukan was also a two-year member of the Canadian Women’s Junior National Team and won the bronze medal in the 2009 Canada Games as a member of the U17 Ontario team.

During her freshman season, Lukan decided to redshirt as former Green Bay standout Celeste Hoewisch was in her senior season for the Phoenix. Lukan was grateful that she was able to learn from Hoewisch during their short time together.

“She was tough, but I learned a lot from her,” Lukan said. “It was truly rewarding to play against her and learn from her for a whole season.”

Following her redshirt season, Lukan averaged 6.6 points per game and was fourth in both assists and steals per game, while averaging more than 30 minutes a game.

This season, Lukan has taken over the starting point guard role and hasn’t looked back. In a Nov. 17 game against Central Michigan, Lukan set a career-high with eight assists in a 75-48 Phoenix victory. In the next game, Nov. 22, against James Madison, Lukan scored 13 points and added four assists in 89-86 overtime loss.

As the season continued, Lukan’s confidence grew, catching the attention of her head coach.

“Her game developed well throughout the season,” Borseth said. “Megan’s biggest thing that she has done this season is play confidently.”

Due to the fact that she redshirted her freshman season, Lukan will have two years of eligibility remaining after this season. With a strong senior class playing its last season in Green Bay, the 2013-14 season is playing out to be led by Lukan.

For now, Lukan and the Phoenix continue to get ready for postseason play in the Horizon League Tournament and the NCAA Tournament this month.