Green Bay women rout Milwaukee, coast to Horizon title
GREEN BAY , Wis. (AP) After a great escape in the semifinals, Green Bay took all the suspense out of the Horizon League Tournament championship early.
Tesha Buck scored 14 points and the top-seeded defending champion Phoenix coasted to a 64-32 win over Milwaukee on Sunday for their 14th Horizon League Tournament title and 16th NCAA Tournament appearance.
''This never gets old,'' veteran Green Bay coach Kevin Borseth said. ''It feels like the first time, it really does. It's a great group of kids.''
The game was in sharp contrast to Saturday's semifinal matchup with fifth-seeded Northern Kentucky, an 80-78 win in double overtime. In that game the Phoenix were down 16 in the first half, their largest deficit of the season. Tournament MVP Mehryn Kraker had 27 of her career-high 32 after halftime. Jen Wellnitz had a putback with 0.6 seconds remaining for the win.
The Phoenix (28-4) scored the last seven points of the first quarter on Sunday to take a 15-10 lead over second-seeded Milwaukee and took control with a 12-0 early in the second. Jessica Lindstrom had five points, Lexi Weitzer four and Buck closed it with a 3-pointer. Buck's 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer made it 38-18.
''I thought (the defense) was great,'' said Borseth, who is in the fourth season of his second stint with the Phoenix. After a nine-year run, he spent five years at Michigan. ''The first half a lot of things came in transition off our defense. Lot of effort, I'm proud of the kids.''
Buck was 5 of 8 from the field with four 3s and surpassed 1,000 points for her career. Lindstrom had 13 points and all 10 Green Bay players scored.
Milwaukee never challenged in the second half, going 2 of 15 from 3-point range, 5 of 24 overall.
Steph Kostowicz had 10 points for the Panthers (19-12), who shot 28 percent for the game. They also had 19 turnovers and were outrebounded by 10, 13-4 on the offensive end.
Milwaukee: The Panthers were 1 of 11 in the fourth quarter and didn't score after Alyssa Fischer's 3-pointer with 6:21 to play. ... They lost by 21 and 23 in the two regular-season games with Green Bay. ... Jenny Linder was named to the all-tournament team.
Green Bay: Kraker had six points, missing all six of her 3-pointers and finishing 3 of 14 from the field. She had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. ... Jessica Lindstrom made the all-tournament team. ... Green Bay lost to Virginia and Rutgers in the Paradise Jam Tournament and twice to league rival Oakland. ... The Phoenix have won 18 straight regular-season titles.
Milwaukee's season is over unless the Panthers get a berth in the WNIT.
Green Bay learns its NCAA matchup on Monday.