Wurtz' Game-Winner Sends Green Bay Back to Tournament Championship Game

Published: Mar. 9, 2020 at 4:06 PM CDT
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Green Bay's senior leader was not ready for the season to come to an end. Trailing by one, Frankie Wurtz drove baseline for the game-winner with 3.1 seconds left on the clock, putting the No. 2-seeded Phoenix on top for the 50-49 victory in the 2020 Horizon League Tournament semifinals against No. 4 Northern Kentucky at Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

The dramatic victory sends GB to its 10th-straight tournament championship game, where they will meet No. 1 seed IUPUI tomorrow at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.

Leading for the vast majority of the game and seemingly on their way to another win leading 46-36 with 4:30 left, NKU rallied for an 11-0 run to take its first lead since the first quarter at 47-46.

Wurtz had the answer, scoring in the paint before NKU would hit a desperation layup on the other end, giving the ball back to GB with a little over 6 seconds left in the game. Head coach Kevin Borseth called a timeout to advance the ball to halfcourt, setting up the game-winning play for Wurtz, her 17th and most important points of the game.

NKU shot just 28.3 percent in the game, and was held to 5-for-26 (19.2 percent) from 3-point range. The Green Bay defense was suffocating all afternoon, holding the Norse to its fourth-lowest point total this season.

Caitlyn Hibner registered her third double-double of the season, scoring 10 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Hailey Oskey also finished in double-figures with 10 points, and a pair of and-1s waived off because of a 50/50 block-charge call that didn't go her way.

GB led by as many as 10 points, which came in the fourth quarter, before the Norse rallied with the clock on their season winding down. NKU was led by Ally Niece with 20 points.

Wurtz 17 points seemed to come at big moments in the game, answering a pair of big NKU 3s in the first and second halves with her own triples. Wurtz has now scored 15 or more points in 15 games this season.

The first half had both teams struggle offensively, but GB closed it out with seven-straight points including an Oskey 3-pointer with the clock winding down. NKU was held scoreless for the final 7 minutes of the first half.

GB will be going for its league-most 17th Horizon League Tournament victory tomorrow and is now 63-10 all-time in the HL Tournament. The Phoenix and Jaguars will tangle for the first time ever in the tournament. The two teams split during the regular season, with each team winning on the other's home court.

The Phoenix is 16-5 all-time in the championship game.

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