GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Junior guard Natalie McNeal led the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay women’s basketball team in scoring with 18 points and 13 rebounds, but it was not enough to punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament as Cleveland State defeated the Phoenix 73-61.

The top two seeds in the Horizon League squared off in the championship, and it was Cleveland State who ultimately ended up going dancing after a great performance from senior guard Gabriella Smith, who finished with 19 points.

Green Bay started the Horizon League Championship with a first-quarter lead, but the team saw that dwindle away before halftime, where they trailed 34-28.

Cleveland State continued putting pressure on Green Bay’s top scorer, senior Sydney Levy, who finished shooting a 3-11 from the floor with nine points. Levy isn’t to blame, as the entire team shot a measly 31.9% from the field, with the starters shooting a combined 13-49 (26%).

Despite falling short of an automatic NCAA Tournament bid, the Phoenix has a lot to be proud of. Green Bay finished the season 27-5 (18-2 CONF), the team’s best record since its last NCAA Tournament appearance in 2018.

Green Bay was projected to be a 13-seed, according to ESPN’s Charlie Creme but now will have to wait and see if they’ve done enough to earn an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. If not, Green Bay will earn an automatic bid to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament after winning the Horizon League regular season title.