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Green Bay women's basketball falls to Youngstown State

Poor shooting dooms Phoenix on Thursday night.
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team couldn’t overcome a poor shooting first half as it dropped its first Horizon League road game, 66-57, at Youngstown State on Thursday evening at the Beeghly Center.

Green Bay lost consecutive Horizon League contests for the first time since the 2009-10 season and first time ever under head coach Kevin Borseth as it moved to 8-7 overall and 1-2 in the conference. Youngstown State maintained its perfect start to the conference season as it improved to 3-0 and 7-9 overall.

“We are having some struggles, and we just have to come together and find our way out of it,” head coach Kevin Borseth said. “There are a lot of teams in the conference coming after us and playing well against us. We just need to weather the storm. We are just three games in, and we will have another chance at all these teams.”

It was a strong start for the Phoenix as junior Megan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) scored the first eight points of the contest for Green Bay. After Youngstown State netted the first points of the contest Megan took the ball to the other end, driving inside the lane for the bucket and-1. The Penguins scored on their next possession, but an 8-0 Phoenix run featuring a pair of threes from Megan Lukan and freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) and another Megan Lukan layup gave Green Bay its largest lead of the contest (11-5) with 14:42 remaining.

However, the Penguins responded going on a 6-0 runs of its own to even the score at 11-11 with 11:44 remaining. After a pair of turnovers by each team freshman Mehryn Kraker put the Phoenix back up with a three-point basket (14-11) with 11:01, but that would be the final bucket for Green Bay in the first half. YSU closed the opening stanza on a 14-4 run, blanking the Phoenix from the field as it went into the break with a 25-18 lead.

“They didn’t give us anything but three point opportunities, they had the inside clamped tight and a lot of people standing in there,” Borseth said. “We tried to find some rhythm on the outside but we couldn’t do anything offensively.”

Green Bay shot just 22.7 percent (5-22) in the first half, while the hosts shot 42.9 percent (9-21). The troubles from deep continued for the Phoenix as it was 3-for-17 (17.6%) while YSU was 4-for-10 (40.0%). It was a sloppy half for both teams with a combined 28 turnovers including 15 by the Phoenix. The 18 points for Green Bay was its lowest offensive output in a contest this season.

The shooting woes for the Phoenix finally ended at the 18:32 mark of the second half when Megan Lukan found the basket to snap a span of 12:29 covering both halves without a field goal for Green Bay. Scoring on its next two possessions, the Phoenix got back to within four points (29-25) with 17:17 on the clock. However, the team was unable to get defensive stops on the other end of the court and couldn’t get any closer than three points down the stretch as it fell to the Penguins 66-57.

“We fought in the second half and cut the lead down but we had a couple defensive errors, and every misstep we had they were able to capitalize,” Borseth said.

Green Bay finished the game shooting 31.3 percent (20-64) from the field and just 22.5 percent (9-40) from deep. On the other side, Youngstown State was 44.7 percent (17-38) from the field and 40.0 percent (8-20) from three. The Phoenix controlled the boards 40-33 and also forced more turnovers, 24-22.

There were a combined 46 turnovers and 51 fouls in the contest, as the game pushed nearly two hours in length.
Megan Lukan led the Phoenix with 19 points and a career-high 11 rebounds. YSU had three players in double digits, led by a game-high 20 from Jenna Hirsch.

Green Bay continues its Ohio swing, taking on Cleveland State on Saturday at 1 p.m.
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