Playing a challenging schedule over the first month of the season, the Green Bay Phoenix have met almost every challenge and are the NCAA.com Team of the Week.
The Phoenix continued its roll with wins this week over Marquette and South Dakota State and are now 8-1 on the season, all while playing a schedule where its opponents are a combined 51-32 (61.4% winning percentage). Included in its win total, Green Bay has already scored wins over 2016 NCAA tournament teams in Belmont, South Dakota State and Chattanooga.
The season’s only blemish came on the road at previously top ranked Notre Dame, where the Phoenix came up short, 71-67, back on Nov. 17.
The week for Green Bay began with a 78-73 road win over in-state rival Marquette on Dec. 6. Junior guard/forward Jessica Lindstrom led the way with a career-high 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in recording her fifth double-double of the season in the victory. Mehryn Kraker scored 19 points in the win, shooting 7-of-12 and finishing with a team-high four assists in 38 minutes. Allie LeClaire joined Lindstrom and Kraker in double figures with 15 points of her own on 5-of-12 shooting. The junior guard also picked up three assists and grabbed a rebound in 30 minutes.
The victory improved Green Bay’s all-time record against Marquette to 34-8, winning seven of the last eight meetings between the programs. Marquette, which is enjoying a resurgence this season, fell to 6-2.
On Dec. 9, Green Bay traveled to Brookings, S.D. for a highly anticipated meeting with South Dakota State, which entered the game sporting an 8-1 record. The Phoenix dominated its way to victory at the Frost Arena, downing the Jackrabbits 67-43. The matchup was as advertised in the first period of play, as the two teams battled defensively, with the Jackrabbits leading 10-9.
The Phoenix, however, saw to it that the lead would be short-lived, taking control in the second quarter and ending the half with a 12-2 run to lead 27-16. After taking the lead, the Phoenix kept its foot on the gas and opened the third quarter with an 18-5 run to lead 43-21 with 5:33 remaining in the third quarter. From there, South Dakota State was never able to get itself back in the game in its first home loss since Jan. 17 of last season.
The relentless Green Bay defense held South Dakota State to just 12-of-52 from the field and 4-of-32 from long range. The Phoenix finished 26-of-55 from the field and put forth a 10-of-12 effort from beyond the arc.
Kraker led Green Bay’s scoring effort with 18 points, moving her into ninth place on Green Bay all-time scoring list in the Division I era. She finished 6-of-13 from the field, doled out a game-high seven assists and pulled down five rebounds in 32 minutes. Lindstrom added 14 points and 13 rebounds to bring her double-double total to six on the season. Jen Wellnitz scored a career-high 15 points on a nearly perfect 6-of-7 shooting effort.
Next up for the Phoenix is another in-state rival game, with the Wisconsin Badgers traveling to Green Bay for a game on Thursday, Dec. 15.