GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball team took on Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) on Monday afternoon for a spot in the Horizon League Championship, and fans of the Phoenix filled The Bar on Lime Kiln Road for a watch party.
Green Bay entered the game as the number one overall seed in the Horizon League Tournament with an 18-2 conference record (27-4 overall), while IPFW held a 9-11 conference record (14-19 overall), garnering the number six seed.
Local 5 News caught up with Glen Tilot, a season-ticket holder and Green Bay alum, who says that the watch parties make tournament runs all the more fun for the fans.
“It’s a lot more fun watching the game when you’re with other fans, rather than sitting at home watching it on ESPN by yourself,” explained Tilot.
Although his love for the Phoenix started as a student, Tilot continued telling Local 5 News that he and his family got into the team after winning a raffle, allowing his daughter to sit on the bench.
“She got into basketball, and she was able to go to the locker room and talk to the players,” said Tilot. “We were going to every game after that. I bought the season tickets and have been a fan for a long time.”
The Green Bay women’s basketball team got off to a slow start in the first quarter, being outscored by ten. However, the Phoenix were able to tie the game before halftime with things knotted up at 32.
Green Bay kept the lead for most of the second half and secured a spot in the Horizon League Championship after defeating IPFW 69-65.
Although most typically think of the men’s tournament when people mention March Madness, Tilot says that the women’s tournament deserves way more credit.
“It’s fantastic to see the women’s team continuing to carry the torch for the athletic department,” added Tilot. “I was going to the games when Tony Bennett was here, and his dad was coaching, but the women continue to have success, and they built the Kress Center. My daughters would say it’s more fun to go to the women’s games instead of the men’s games, so we just continue to enjoy it. It makes the winter go a lot faster.”
When asked if Tilot will attend other watch parties this season, he told Local 5 News, “I’ll be at every one of them, as long as they make the NCAA Tournament.”
Sophomore guard Cassie Schiltz led the Phoenix with 17 points and seven rebounds in the 35 minutes she spent on the floor. Senior guard Sydney Levy added 14 points as well.
Green Bay will play for an automatic bid to the women’s NCAA Tournament on Tuesday at noon. They’ll take on the winner of Monday’s game between two-seeded Cleveland State (28-4, 17-3 Horizon) and five-seeded Northern Kentucky (17-13, 10-10 Horizon).