Jan. 3, 2004
The Bulldogs took a 30-27 lead into the half, but could not sustain the momentum as the Phoenix of UW-Green Bay shot 71 percent in the second half to upend the Bulldogs, 69-53, Saturday at Hinkle Fieldhouse. The Phoenix improve to 6-4 on the year and 1-0 in league play, while the Bulldogs fall to 4-8 (1-1). Senior Nancy Bowden led the Bulldogs with 15 points.
The lead changed hands 14 times throughout the game as the Bulldogs overcame an early five-point deficit. Freshman Jackie Closser came off the bench to drain two three-pointers in a minute span to give the Bulldogs an 18-15 lead with 10:48 remaining in the first half. Seniors Bowden and Angel Mason scored on consecutive fastbreak layups in the final minute of the first half to give the Bulldogs their 30-27 halftime advantage.
But the Phoenix came out inspired to start the second half, hitting their first seven shots. Much of the work was done down low by freshman Nicole Soulis who finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds on the afternoon. The Green Bay, Wis., product went a perfect 7-of-7 from the field in the second half.
The Bulldogs, who shot 48 percent in the first 20 minutes, struggled from the field in the second half, hitting only seven of their 25 attempts. Bowden picked up her fourth foul with 10:51 remaining in the game. At that point, the Phoenix held a 45-40 lead. The Bulldogs would not pull any closer as the Phoenix's backcourt of Tricia Grassell and Abby Scharlow hit clutch shots down the stretch and UW-Green Bay sank 8-of-10 second-half free throws.
Soulis' 25 points and 11 rebounds were both career highs and led the Phoenix. Grassell added 18 points, while Scharlow posted 14 points and 10 assists. Forward Natalie Yudt went down in the first half with a knee injury and did not return.
Center Cortney Urquhart had 12 points and five rebounds on the afternoon, while Closser added ten points. The Bulldogs forced UW-Green Bay into 20 turnovers, in large part to the Bulldogs' 12 steals, but were out-done on the glass by a margin of 34-23.
The Bulldogs travel to Milwaukee for a Horizon League match-up with the Panthers Thursday at 5 p.m. (CST). UW-Green Bay and Butler will square off for the second time in eight days Saturday in Green Bay.