The No. 19/20 Green Bay women’s basketball was faced with one of its biggest tests this season on Thursday evening, opening Horizon League play with Wright State in Dayton, Ohio at the Nutter Center. The Phoenix (11-1, 1-0) entered the fourth quarter trailing for just the second time this season but battled back to defeat the Raiders (9-4, 0-1), 58-51.
As advertised, the pairing between the top two teams in the league proved to be a highly competitive contest. Green Bay extended its winning streak to six games with its victory over the Raiders, the team picked to finish second in the league’s preseason poll.
Green Bay had a little trouble getting its offense going in the first quarter but only allowed Wright State to score six points and held an 11-6 lead heading into the next period of play. It was more of the same from both squads as buzzer sounded for halftime, as Green Bay led 23-20.
The Raiders went on to take control of the game in the third quarter, stringing together a 9-2 run capped off by a pair of free throws from Chelsea Welch to lead 29-25.
Green Bay refused to surrender too much of an advantage and knotted things at 37-all with 2:21 to play in the third. The final basket of the quarter came from WSU’s Lexi Smith and granted a two-point advantage to the Raiders heading into the final quarter of play, 39-37.
The game was tied for the final time, 46-46, with 5:00 left to play. From there, the Phoenix used a 12-5 run ignited by an Allie LeClaire layup to close out its first conference matchup with a win, 58-51.
Jessica Lindstrom and Allie LeClaire led the way offensively for the Phoenix with 15 points apiece, with Lindstrom pulling down 12 rebounds to notch her sixth double-double of the season. LeClaire added a game-high five assists and finished with three rebounds in 36 minutes.
The Raiders’ Chelsea Welch led all scorers with 22 points on a 6-of-19 effort from the field in 40 minutes.
The Phoenix finished 22-for-53 (41.5%) from the field and held Wright State to just 18-of-53 (34.0%).
Green Bay held true to the mold it possessed entering league play with only one loss on the season and dominated the game inside, outscoring Wright State 38-16. The Phoenix finished with advantages in points off turnovers (16-13) and second-chance points (10-4).
The Phoenix returns to the court on Saturday in Highland Height, Ky., against Northern Kentucky with tipoff slated for noon central time.