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Green Bay Women to face Kentucky in NCAA 2nd Round Monday Night

The Green Bay Phoenix women's basketball team will face Kentucky on Monday night in Ames, Iowa for a spot in their second straight Sweet 16, and Local 5 will be live in Iowa tonight at 5 and 6.
The Green Bay Phoenix women's basketball team will face Kentucky on Monday night in Ames, Iowa for a spot in their second straight Sweet 16, and Local 5 will be live in Iowa tonight at 5 and 6 with live reports from Larry McCarren.

Here is a preview of the game from Green Bay Athletics:

AMES, Iowa (GreenBayPhoenix.com) - For the third consecutive season, the No. 10/10 Green Bay (31-1) women's basketball team will play in the second round of the NCAA Tournament as it faces No. 12/11 Kentucky (26-6) Monday, Mar. 19 at 8:45 p.m. at the Hilton Coliseum in Ames, Iowa. Monday's game will be the first meeting between No. 5 seed Green Bay and No. 2 seed Kentucky with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 in Kingston.

Both teams are making their third-consecutive trip to the second round of the NCAA Tournament with Green Bay owning a 1-1 record, advancing to the program's first Sweet 16 appearance last season. The Wildcats lone win in the second round over the past three seasons came in 2010 when they advanced to the Elite Eight.

The Phoenix advanced to Monday's second round game with a 71-57 win over host, No. 10 seed Iowa State (18-13) in the first round. Green Bay led the entire contest with four players scoring in double figures including Lydia Bauer (Lake Zurich, Ill.) and Sarah Eichler (Grafton, Wis.) who had a game-high 16 points while Adrian Ritchie (De Pere, Wis.) chipped in 15 while grabbing a game-high six rebounds. All-American candidate Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) added 14 points and grabbed a game-high and NCAA Tournament program-best six steals.

Kentucky outlasted McNeese State with a 68-62 win in its first round game which featured five lead changes. Six players scored at least eight points in the Wildcats win with Keyla Snowden leading the way with 11 points and Azia Bishop adding 10. Kentucky grabbed 58 rebounds with Samarie Walker grabbing a game-high 13 boards, tying a UK program record in an NCAA Tournament game.

Green Bay joins a list of 20 teams (including Baylor, Stanford, and Delaware this season) who entered the NCAA Tournament with at least 30 wins and no more than one loss. All 16 of the previous teams advanced at least as far as the Sweet 16. With an appearance in this year's tournament, seniors Julie Wojta (Francis Creek, Wis.) and Hannah Quilling have played in more NCAA Tournament games (7) than any other Phoenix players in the 39-year history of the program.

Monday's game features the two top defensive teams in the country. Kentucky leads the nation in turnover margin (+10.3) while Green Bay is second (+9.4) in the statistic. Of the 64 teams in the NCAA Tournament field, both Kentucky and Green Bay rank fifth with 12.5 steals per game.

CONFERENCE PLAYERS OF THE YEAR... Monday's contest will feature the top players in the Horizon League and SEC in Green Bay's Julie Wojta and Kentucky's A'dia Mathies. Both received Player of the Year, First Team All-Conference and All-Defensive team honors in their respective conferences with Wojta earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in the Horizon League.
 
Mathies leads the Wildcats with 15.4 points per game while Wojta leads the Phoenix with 19.6 points and 10.0 rebounds per game.

RELIABLE RITCHIE... Second Team All-League selection Adrian Ritchie has proven to be reliable for the Phoenix when it comes to NCAA Tournament play. In her six NCAA Tournament games, the 5-foot-11 guard is averaging 10.1 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. In Green Bay's first round win over Iowa State, Ritchie poured in 15 points and grabbed a team-high six rebounds. The junior guard thrives under deadline situations as twice this season she has made last-minute game-deciding shots. The junior sank a three with 0.6 second remaining against then No. 25 Georgia Tech to send the game into overtime. After Green Bay trailed by nine with 59 seconds to play in regulation against Youngstown State, Ritchie poured in nine points, including three game-tying free throws with 19 seconds to play to send the game into overtime.
 
RECORD BREAKERS... In Green Bay's first round win over Iowa State, the Phoenix tied or broke five program NCAA Tournament records. Green Bay's 29 three-point field goals attempted against Iowa State set a program record while its nine made in the first half was a season best. Its 20 steals in the game shattered its program-record 14 in an NCAA Tournament contest while forcing Iowa State to turn the ball over 30 times was also a program-best performance. Sarah Eichler's 10 three point field-goal attempts is a program best in an NCAA Tournament along with Julie Wojta's game-high six steals.
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