No. 11/11 Green Bay Wraps up Regular Season Play on the Road
By: Jill Wunrow
GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - Having already clinched its 14th consecutive regular season Horizon League championship, the No. 11/11 Green Bay (25-1, 15-1 HL) women's basketball team will wrap up regular season play with a pair of games in the windy city, beginning with a battle against Loyola (12-15, 6-9 HL) Thursday, Mar. 1 at 7 p.m. at the Gentile Arena in Chicago, Ill.
With a win Thursday, Green Bay would record its 26th win of the season for the eighth time in program history. This season marks the 13th consecutive 20-win season for the Phoenix who has had 35 straight winning seasons in the history of the 39-year-old program.
Green Bay enters Thursday's contest with a five-game winning streak while the Ramblers are coming off a70-66 win over cross-town rival UIC.
ABOUT THE SERIES... Thursday will be the 45th meeting between these two teams with Green Bay owning an overall record of 39-5 and 16-3 at Loyola. Green Bay has won the past five meetings against the Ramblers as fifth year head coach Matt Bollant is 3-1 on Loyola's home court with its lone loss (65-63) on Jan. 21, 2010.
SCOUTING THE OPPONENT... Loyola junior Patrice King scored a team-high 25 points as Loyola scored the first 11 points in its recent game against UIC. The win was the eighth road win for the Ramblers, the most in a season since the 1998-99 season. Like Green Bay, the Ramblers have three starters averaging in double figure scoring with King leading the way with 11.8 points per game. Sophomore Troy Hambric is chipping in 10.3 points per contest and leading the first team with 6.1 rebounds while Monica Albano is also scoring in double figures with 10.2 points per game.
LAST MEETING (Dec. 31, 2011 in Green Bay, Wis.)... Green Bay used its defense to close the 2011 calendar year with a 34-1 record in its 76-49 win over the Ramblers. Loyola took a 10-8 lead in the first half before the Phoenix went on a 14-0 run. Green Bay scored 27 of its 45 first half points off Loyola's 19 turnovers as the win was Green Bay's 32 consecutive regular season win and 28th consecutive regular season win against a conference opponent.
LEAGUE LEADERS... Thursday's game will feature the top four free throw shooters in the league. Green Bay junior Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) leads all players shooting 83.8 percent from the free throw line while Loyola's Patrice King is second shooting 81.8 percent. Green Bay's Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) is third shooting 81.3 percent while Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) is fourth sinking 80.6 percent of her shots from the charity stripe.
Wojta also leads the lead in scoring and rebounding with 19.4 points per game and 10.4 rebounds per game respectively. Wojta is also pacing all players with 3.7 steals per contest and is second in shooting 51.7 percent from the field. Classmate Hannah Quilling (Eau Claire, Wis.) is third among league players in assist/turnover ratio (1.5), dishing out 86 assists compared to 57 turnovers against all opponents.
NATIONAL RANKINGS... After spending a week at No. 12, Green Bay moved up one spot in both of this week's Top 25 polls to No. 11. The Phoenix saw its highest ranking in program history in both polls at No. 9 earlier this season. Green Bay ranks second in the nation in turnover margin (+9.7), seventh in assists per game (17.7), eighth in scoring margin (20.2), ninth in free throw percentage (76.9) and 10th with 12.5 steals per game.
Individually, Wojta ranks sixth in the nation with 15 double double performances and seventh with 3.7 steals per contest. With her 31 career double doubles, five consecutive, Wojta is one double double shy of tying a program-best 32 since Green Bay moved to Division I in 1987. With 95 steals on the season, Wojta is nine shy from owning the individual season record. The current record is 103 steals in a single season set by Rhonda Rice during the 1995-96 campaign.
WOJTA THE WARRIOR... Senior Julie Wojta is having the best season of her career and one of the best in Phoenix history. The reigning Horizon League Player of the Week ranks in the top eight in seven career statistical categories including her recent move up to fifth in scoring with 1,498 career points. Wojta has also grabbed 785 career rebounds and is just one of three Phoenix players in program history to be in the top six in both scoring and rebounding. Wojta's current career scoring average (12.8) ranks seventh on Green Bay's career record list.
Wojta has earned several prestigious honors throughout the month of February as the senior captain was one of eight players to be added to the Wade Trophy Watch List. In addition, the reigning Horizon League Player of the Week earned a spot on the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team and is a member of the 2012 Naismith Women's College Player of the Year Midseason 32 watch list.
Ticket packages for the women's Horizon League Championship are currently on sale with the Green Bay ticket office. For more information or to purchase, click here. Green Bay will host its opponent in the quarterfinal game Mar. 7 at 7 p.m. at the Kress Events Center
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