By Green Bay Phoenix
After being outscored 57-35 in the second half, the 21st-ranked Green Bay women’s basketball team came up short against Minnesota in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday evening, falling 89-77 at Matthew Knight Arena on the campus of the University of Oregon. The loss marks the final game for standout seniors Jessica Lindstrom and Allie LeClaire, who both rank in the top 10 on the program’s all-time scoring list and captured eight combined Horizon League regular season and tournament championships.
No. 10 seed Minnesota (24-8) scored the final 11 points of the game, after No. 7 seed Green Bay (29-4) held the 78-77 lead with 3:22 remaining in the game. The 89 points scored by the Golden Gophers are the most points allowed by GB in any game this season, which entered the game as the No. 1 scoring defense in the country allowing only 65.2 PPG.
LeClaire led GB with 17 points on 6-for-16 shooting in 38 minutes of action, battling an injured ankle for the majority of the game. Fellow-senior Lindstrom also finished in double figures with 11 points, but shot just 4-for-15 from the field.
The Phoenix did receive good production off its bench, outscoring Minnesota 28-12 in that category. Freshman Lyndsey Robson and Mackenzie Wolf each scored nine points, while Laken James finished with seven points.
Minnesota was able to come back in the game in large part to its success from 3-point range, as they finished 10-for-18 (56 percent) from deep. GB finished just 9-for-29 (31 percent) from beyond the arc, with Lindstrom and LeClaire combining for six made 3s.
GB took a 45-32 lead to start the second half after Lindstrom buried a 3-pointer, but Minnesota responded with a 7-0 run to cut the lead to 45-39. GB was able to jump out to a 12-point lead with 2:23 left in the third quarter, taking a 62-50 lead. The Golden Gophers then cut their deficit to 64-59 entering the fourth quarter.
Minnesota took the lead for good at 74-72 with 5:58 left in the game, and led for the remainder of the contest. The Golden Gophers outscored GB 30-13 in the fourth quarter.
The loss wraps up another highly successful season for Green Bay, which captured its 20th-straight regular season title and 16th league tournament title. The program was making its 18th appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and was seeking its first win in the tournament since 2012.
GB finishes the season 29-4, winning 27 games or more for the fourth-straight year.