Phoenix women take down Youngstown State 66-45, advance to Horizon League Tournament Championship

DETROIT, Mich. ( DETROIT, Mich. ( --- For the eighth-straight season, the top-seeded Green Bay women’s basketball team will be playing for the Horizon League Tournament Championship. The 22nd-ranked Phoenix (28-3) downed No. 5 seed Youngstown State 66-45 in the 2018 Little Caesars Horizon League Championship Semifinals on Monday afternoon at Little Caesars Arena, outscoring the Penguins 40-17 in the second half.

With the win, GB has now won 10-straight HL tournament games and also won its 10th-straight game over the Penguins (16-15) in the process. GB trailed 28-26 at the half, but outscored YSU 21-5 in the third quarter and shot 58.6 percent (17-for-29) in the final 20 minutes.

Three players scored in double figures for GB, led by seniors Jessica Lindstrom (17 points) and Allie LeClaire (16 points), who combined for 33 points and nine assists. Lindstrom buried three 3-pointers and LeClaire made the only other 3 as GB finished 4-for-15 from long range in the game.

It was a tale of two halves in the first semifinal, as YSU actually led 16-10 after the first quarter and then 28-26 heading into the break. As it’s done all season, the Phoenix defense locked in in the second half, holding YSU to just 5-for-18 shooting from the field and 3-for-14 from 3-point range.

Jen Wellnitz was the other Phoenix player to finish in double figures, racking up 14 points on 7-for-13 shooting. The Defensive Player of the Year had three steals in the game, more than the entire YSU team recorded (two steals) in the game.

Lindstrom and Karly Murphy (eight points) dominated inside, helping GB finish with a 40-14 advantage in the points in the paint category. GB also had 14 points off turnovers, with YSU not recording a single point in that area, as the Phoenix only turned over a season-low four times in the game.

GB will be making its eighth-straight appearance in the tournament championship game, and has lifted the trophy in six out of its last seven trips. The program will be seeking its 16th HL tournament title and the automatic NCAA berth that comes with it.

The Phoenix will now face the winner of No. 2 seed IUPUI and No. 3 seed Wright State in tomorrow’s Championship game at Noon ET/11 a.m. CT to be televised on ESPNU. GB swept both the Jaguars and the Raiders during the regular season, but will need a third win to celebrate another title.