The Green Bay women’s basketball team battled to the final seconds in its 52-45 win over IUPUI on Sunday afternoon in front of 2,970 fans at the Kress Center, closing the game with a 19-4 run to take sole control of first place in the Horizon League.
Allie LeClaire scored a game-high 22 points on an 8-of-11 effort from the field in 35 minutes. The senior finished with four rebounds and one assist while going a perfect 5-for-5 from the free throw line.
IUPUI (16-5, 8-2) started out red hot from the floor and opened the game with a 12-2 run capped off on a jumper from the Jaguars’ Jenna Gunn. Jen Wellnitz finally ended the run with 1:07 remaining in the quarter on a jumper in the paint.
Facing a 19-6 deficit entering the second, Green Bay (19-2, 9-1) locked down IUPUI and cut the lead to just five points with 4:30 left in the half when Caitlyn Hibner sent a triple through the net.
The game held even in the third, with both teams scoring 13 points apiece and the Phoenix heading into the fourth trailing 39-33.
The Jaguars were the first to score in the final quarter but were then held off the board for over eight minutes, a stretch that saw Green Bay score 14 unanswered points and garner a 47-41 lead with 1:23 to play.
LeClaire and Wellnitz combined to go 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final minute and secure the 52-45 win. The Phoenix improved to 31-1 in the month of January over the past four seasons and a perfect 4-0 against the Jaguars all time.
Green Bay shot 92.3% (12-13) from the free throw line, its best mark of the season and the first time the Phoenix shot above 80% since going 4-for-5 at Cleveland State exactly one year ago.
The Jaguars held the Phoenix to a disadvantage on the boards for just the third time this season, 37-23, but Green Bay made up for it by surrendering a season-low six turnovers while forcing 22. The Phoenix took full advantage and scored 21 points off the Jaguars’ miscues.
The Phoenix benefited from a 26-16 edge in the paint, but faced a disadvantage in bench scoring (13-8) and second-chance points (17-13).
Green Bay continues its home stand next week when the team welcomes Northern Kentucky on Feb. 1 at 7 p.m., followed by the PinkZone game on Feb. 3 against Wright State.