Green Bay, WI — The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay moved to 9-2 on the year after a win against Butler tonight, Dec. 20, crushing the Bulldogs 61-34. The Phoenix will play Northern Kentucky in their first conference game at home on Dec. 29.
After a devastating one-point loss to Wisconsin Thursday (Dec. 15) night, Green Bay was determined to get a victory over Butler, which they definitely did in convincing fashion. The Phoenix’s tenacity and persistence throughout the game proved exactly why they were the NCAA’s team of the week last week.
It is no secret that the Phoenix players have remarkable talent and work together very well on the court. Green Bay head coach Kevin Borseth spoke to the team’s recent, and undeniably, heart-wrenching loss against Wisconsin.
“When that happened, it just really hurt, it was hard,” Borseth said. “We certainly watched film, and we looked at scenarios that would make us better. We really as a group put our heart and soul into every practice, into every meeting and into everything we do as a group collectively.”
Green Bay started out strong as Mehryn Kraker scored the first point of the game. Although the score was deadlocked at certain points and the lead changed a total of six times, by the end of the first period, Green Bay held a 15-14 lead.
Kraker led the Phoenix as she scored five of the 15 first-quarter points, however, Butler’s Kristen Spolyar also put up a good fight scoring nine of the Bulldogs’ 14 points in the first 10 minutes of action.
Green Bay began to dominate Butler in the second period as they wrapped up the first half 37-20. The Bulldogs’ defense was yet again not strong enough to stop the seemingly untouchable Kraker, who propelled Green Bay to a strong lead at the break with 14 points. Not only was the Phoenix strong on the offensive side of the court, but they also made it nearly impossible for Butler to score.
Jen Wellnitz and Kraker were on fire and made it very difficult for the Bulldogs to catch up as they combined for a total of 27 points on the night — shooting 80% and 75% from the field, respectively.
The fourth and final period was exciting for the Phoenix as they rallied for a dominating victory at home. The sour taste in their mouth after the loss to Wisconsin is likely gone — just in the nick of time before the conference season gets underway.
Green Bay ended the night shooting 40 percent from the field and forced 24 turnovers — 16 of them steals. Kraker tallied a game-high 17 points in 22 minutes of action.