No. 10 Green Bay 73, Ill.-Chicago 53
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP)
Jasmine Bailey had her game clicking for Illinois-Chicago. She just didn't get much help from her teammates against No. 10 Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Bailey scored 23 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field in UIC's 73-53 loss to the Phoenix in the Horizon League semifinals on Friday night. The rest of the Flames shot just 11 for 42.
''We've got to have three people to score for us to be successful and tonight Bailey really came to play,'' Illinoi-Chicago coach Regina Miller said.
Adrian Ritchie had 22 points, Sarah Eichler tied a career high with 19 and league player of the year Julie Wojta had 13 points and 10 rebounds for her 33rd career double-double for Green Bay (29-1).
The Phoenix beat the Flames (18-13) for the third time this season, winning 76-49 and 85-56 during the regular season. The latest matchup wasn't as lopsided, despite the gap in the final score.
Green Bay, which has won nine straight to improve to 15-1 at home this season, went on a 12-1 run early to take a 16-5 lead. The Phoenix upped the lead to 27-11, but the Flames weren't ready to give up. Trailing 36-28, they had a shot to go into the locker room down just five, but Shamiea Green missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds remaining.
The Phoenix shot 8 for 10 to start the second half and push their lead to 15 points. Chicago clawed back within 12 midway through the half, but a Megan Lukan's 3-pointer gave the Phoenix a 58-43 lead. The Flames ddin't get closer than 15 the rest of the game.
Only eight of Bailey's 23 points came in the second half as the Phoenix played lockdown defense.
''We all feel like this is one of our best defensive performances,'' Ritchie said. ''We adjusted to what we were playing against, and I think that's a good sign for us coming down the stretch.''
Green Bay dominated inside and finished with 42 points in the point. That helped account for the Phoenix shooting 51 percent (28 for 55). Chicago ended up with 22 points in the paint.
''That was our game plan, make them shoot contested outside shots and not allow them to score easy in the paint,'' Miller said. ''Forty-two points out of 73 (in the paint); I don't need to say much more.''
Top-seeded Green Bay will next face No. 2-seeded Detroit in Sunday's conference title game for a shot at an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. Detroit handed Green Bay its only loss last month.
''We're excited for Sunday, definitely, to get revenge in our house again,'' Ritchie said. ''We just want to show them who is the top team in this league.''