Phoenix women win seventh straight behind McNeal’s career day
GREEN BAY, Wis. (Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics) - Natalie McNeal scored a season-high 16 points and grabbed a career-high 16 rebounds to propel the Green Bay Phoenix women’s basketball team to a 75-55 win over the Wright State Raiders at home Sunday. It’s the seventh-straight win for the Phoenix and helped GB maintain their top spot in the Horizon League standings.
Cara VanKempen led the Raiders (5-21, 4-12 HL) with 11 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.
Green Bay’s defense held Wright State to only 29.2 percent shooting from the field, including 28.6 percent from beyond the arc.
HOW IT HAPPENED
After playing to an 11-11 tie early in the game, Green Bay ripped off a 6-0 run with 2:13 left in the first quarter to take a 17-11 lead. All six points came courtesy of McNeal on unassisted jumpers. The Phoenix then maintained that lead the rest of the way and entered the break with a 20-14 advantage.
Green Bay kept its first-quarter lead intact before going on another 9-0 run starting at the 4:53 mark in the second period, highlighted by two buckets from Jenna Guyer, to increase its lead to 37-22. The Phoenix enjoyed a 39-25 advantage heading into halftime. GB was strong from deep in the period, knocking down three three-point shots to account for nine of its 19 points. A pair of rebounds in the last minute brought McNeal to a first-half double-double with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
The Phoenix kept the lead at 15 points in the early goings of the third quarter. They then went on an 11-0 run, highlighted by five points from Tatum Koenig and four from McNeal to expand its lead to 58-32 with 3:46 to go in the third. WSU responded with a 10-3 run to close the quarter, giving Green Bay a 61-42 advantage heading into the fourth quarter.
A Raider run early in the fourth quarter brought the Green Bay lead back down to 15, but the Phoenix put the game out of reach with a 10-2 run with 7:35 to go. Jasmine Kondrakiewicz contributed five of those 10 points. The two squads combined for just seven points over the final five minutes of game time, and GB took home a 75-55 win.
» Green Bay found success from three point land, knocking down nine treys in the game.» The Phoenix never trailed Sunday afternoon.» The GB bench made an impact by adding 33 points to its scoring output.» Green Bay had a 57-35 edge on the boards in the win, including 18 offensive rebounds.» The Phoenix turned the ball over just seven times while dishing out 17 assists.» The victory was the seventh straight for the Phoenix.» Of the 21 Green Bay wins this season, 18 have been by ten or more points.
UP NEXTGreen Bay will go out east this weekend, playing at Robert Morris on Friday and Youngstown State on Sunday. The Green & White will close the regular season the following weekend at the Kress Center with an all-important showdown against Cleveland State and Purdue Fort Wayne.
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