The Green Bay defense was once again on full display as the Phoenix women’s basketball team took the court for its second matchup of the year, facing off against Wisconsin at the Kohl Center and downing the Big Ten program, 67-34, to improve to 2-0 on the season.
There were numerous bright spots in Green Bay’s second-consecutive 30-plus point victory, with sophomore Caitlyn Hibner being one of the brightest as the guard poured in a career-high 19 points on a 6-of-10 mark from the floor including a near-perfect 5-of-6 clip from long range.
All told, Green Bay (2-0) finished 9-of-20 from beyond the arc while not allowing a single Badgers’ triple to slip through the net, despite Wisconsin’s 16 attempts from long range. The Badgers were held to 14-52 (26.9%) from the field and were forced into 18 turnovers.
Green Bay’s 25-18 advantage when it headed to the locker room at halftime wasn’t an overly comfortable margin, but the Phoenix extinguished any hopes of a Wisconsin comeback in the third quarter when the team outscored the Badgers 28-11 to carry a 53-29 lead into the final quarter of play.
Hibner scored 11 of her 19 points in the third quarter alone, pushing the Phoenix lead back up to double digits, 31-20, with 7:58 remaining on a jumper from the corner before knocking down a three with 1:10 left to extend Green Bay’s lead to 50-29.
Wisconsin (1-1) simply had no answer for the stifling defense Green Bay brought to its home floor as the Badgers were held to just five points in the final 10 minutes. The Phoenix went on to close out another defensive clinic with a 67-34 victory in its first road pairing of the 2017-18 season.
Allie LeClaire finished with 14 points in the rivalry matchup on a 5-of-10 shooting effort, corralled three rebounds, doled out three assists and swiped three steals in 35 minutes. Jessica Lindstrom joined Hibner and LeClaire with double-digit contributions on the evening, scoring 12 points and nearly notching her first double-double of the season with nine rebounds in 26 minutes.
The Phoenix surrendered 18 turnovers to Wisconsin but held advantages in rebounds (37-31), assists (16-11) and blocks (2-1).
Green Bay returns to the Kress Center this Saturday to face South Dakota State at 1 p.m. before hitting the road for the Cancun Challenge next week. The Jackrabbits received the top spot on espnW’s mid-major poll released Wednesday morning, while Green Bay was slotted third.