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Green Bay Women welcome UIC to the Kress Center

Green Bay Womens basketball team before game.  Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics
Green Bay Womens basketball team before game. Courtesy: Green Bay Athletics

(WNFL) - GREEN BAY, Wis. (GreenBayPhoenix.com) – The Green Bay women’s basketball team opens up the 2014 Horizon League season, welcoming UIC to the Kress Center for a 7 p.m. tip on Wednesday.

The game will be televised locally on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel 32/1332 HD and will also be available through the Horizon League Network online. 

Fans can listen live to the game on Green Bay's new radio partner, WNFL 1440 AM. The live audio with Bruce VandenPlas on the call will also be available for free viaGreenBayPhoenix.com or on the Green Bay Phoenix App on IOS and Android devices. 

Wednesday’s contest marks the 66th all-time meeting between the Phoenix and Flames, with Green Bay leading the all-time series 59-6. The Phoenix has won the last eight meetings, and has never lost a game to UIC at home (32-0). 

Since joining the Horizon League in 1994 (then-Midwestern Collegiate Conference), the Phoenix is a perfect 19-0 in conference openers, including 10-0 under Head Coach Kevin Borseth. Green Bay has faced UIC in the opener on four occasions, emerging victorious during the 2001-02, 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2011-12 seasons.

Green Bay enters the game with an overall record of 7-5, recently ending a four-game skid with a commanding 72-49 win over Maine on New Year Day. The Phoenix have five different players leading the top five statistical categories, including sophomore Kaili Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) in points (10.4), senior Breannah Ranger (Skokie, Ill.) in rebounding (7.5), juniorMegan Lukan (Barrie, Ontario) in assists (4.3), freshman Tesha Buck (Red Wing, Minn.) in steals (2.1) and freshman Mariah Monke (Fergus Falls, Minn.) in blocks (1.0).

UIC comes into Wednesday’s contest atop the Horizon League standings with an overall record of 11-2. After dropping its first two games of the season, the Flames have gone on to rattle off 11 consecutive wins. UIC is off to its best 13-game start in program history, and the 11 wins is a program record for consecutive victories. UIC has three players averaging double-digit points, led by Rachel Story (19.6), Ruvanna Campbell (15.3) and Katie Hannemann(12.8). Campbell has a team-leading 10.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game, while Terri Bender averages a team-best 3.4 assists and 2.5 steals per game. 

STARTING FIVE1. For Starters: Green Bay opens conference action as it welcomes UIC to the Kress Center on Wednesday. Since joining the Horizon League in 1994 (then-Midwestern Collegiate Conference), the Phoenix is a perfect 19-0 in conference openers, including 10-0 under Head Coach Kevin Borseth. Green Bay has faced UIC in the opener on four occasions, emerging victorious during the 2001-02, 2002-03, 2006-07 and 2011-12 seasons. The Phoenix has also never lost a home game to UIC in program history (32-0). 

2. Dish it Out: Against Maine on Jan. 1, junior Megan Lukan tied a Green Bay Division I program record with 13 assists while also not committing a turnover. Currently leading the team in assists, she has had at least one helper in all but one game this season, and four or more assists in seven of the 12 games thus far.

3. Out of the Gates: Green Bay has set the tone early in its games, outscoring the opposition by a combined 110 points (388-278) in the first half. Having been outscored by an opponent in the first half on just two occasions this season (at Duquesne and vs. Wichita State), the Phoenix is 1-1 in those contests.

4. Turnover Totals: Strong defensive play while taking care of the ball has been one of the keys to the Phoenix success this season. Green Bay currently averages 13.7 turnovers per game while forcing its competition into 20.8 turnovers per game, a differential of +7.1, good for 12th in the nation. The Phoenix received a season-high 41 points off 25 turnovers against Maine on January 1.

5. Share the Wealth: The Phoenix has seen a lot of diversity when it comes to its offensive production this season. Four of Green Bay’s five starters currently rank in the top 30 in Horizon League scoring (K. Lukan, Ranger, M. Lukan, Buck), and Green Bay is one of just two teams to have four starters make the list (Cleveland State). In total, seven Phoenix have had double digit scoring games during this season and six different players have led the team in scoring.

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