NOTRE DAME, Ind. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – Green Bay (27-6) had another successful season come to an end on Friday night in the First Round of the 2017 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, falling 74-62 to Purdue at the Purcell Pavilion on the campus of Notre Dame.
The No. 9 seeded Boilermakers (23-12) shot 51.2 percent in the game, but it was the 63.6 percent (7-for-11) shooting in the first quarter that put the No. 8 seeded Phoenix behind big early. Purdue led 21-9 at the end of the first quarter, and led for a total of 37:25 in the game.
Despite forcing the Big Ten team into 23 turnovers, the Phoenix couldn’t overcome a 32.9 percent (23-for-70) shooting performance. The team went 10-for-36 from the 3-point line and only attempted seven free throws. Purdue went 26-for-30 at the free throw line, icing the game away late after Green Bay cut the deficit to five with 2:35 left.
A Mehryn Kraker layup, who finished with a team-high 23 points, put the pressure on Purdue before it responded with a 6-0 run to put the game out of reach for good. The Boilermakers went 9-for-10 at the charity stripe over the final two minutes.
Green Bay attempted a season-high 70 field goals and forced Purdue into 23 turnovers, the main reason it was able to make the game competitive late. Kraker went 9-for-24 from the field and 5-for-17 from long range, while Jessica Lindstrom recorded her 15th double-double of the season.
Lindstrom was a factor in the paint all game, grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring 15 points. The junior also blocked three shots and made three 3s before fouling out in the final minutes.
Allie LeClaire scored seven points and Madison Wolf added eight off the bench. Jen Wellnitz dished out seven assists and tallied five steals.
Purdue was led by Ashley Morrissette’s game-high 24 points on 7-for-16 shooting. Dominique Oden (13 points) and Ae’Rianna Harris (12 points) also finished in double figures.
The program sends off three seniors, Kraker, Sam Terry and Lexi Weitzer, all of which contributed to the program’s longstanding 19-consecutive Horizon League championships. The trio helped lead the program to three NCAA Tournaments, win five regular season championships and four tournament championships.
Kraker will be etched in the program record book, ranking fourth on the all-time scoring list and first in 3-point field goals made. She’s also tied for third in program history in games played.
Green Bay will return plenty of talented players with accolades and quality playing time experience. Lindstrom, LeClaire, Wellnitz, Caitlyn Hibner, Frankie Wurtz and Wolf all return in 2017-18, with Green Bay once again in the mix for another league championship.