Wojta lifts No. 9 Green Bay women past Wright St
Julie Wojta has been the consummate all-around leader for Wisconsin-Green Bay this season, leading the team in points, rebounds, steals, assists and blocked shots.
The senior standout backed up her chart-topping credentials with a performance that she modestly said might have been her best so far.
Wojta came through with career highs of 30 points and 20 rebounds as No. 9 Green Bay bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 64-59 win over Wright State on Saturday.
''Julie, her will to win today was incredible,'' Green Bay coach Matt Bollant said. ''She was not going to let us fail. I thought she put the team on her back and just carried us. That's one of the most spectacular games I've ever seen a player play.''
Wojta also had eight steals, nearly recording the first triple-double of her career. Her four blocks doubled her previous career high, and she added five assists.
''It was fun,'' said Wojta, whose previous career high for points was 29 in a nonconference win at Wisconsin earlier this season.
Horizon League-leading Green Bay (21-1, 11-1) came into the game after a startling 70-58 loss to Detroit on Thursday. Wojta felt partly responsible for the Phoenix's first defeat in 11 months after she making only six of 17 shots against the Titans.
''Part of being a leader is trying to make a shot when a shot needs to be made,'' Wojta said. ''Thursday, I didn't necessarily do that. I was more focused on that and being able to step up and be a leader for this team.''
The 6-foot Wojta stood out as the difference maker Saturday. She played the entire game and didn't let a minute go to waste on both ends of the court.
Wojta put in shots as she crashed hard to the floor, made three 3-pointers, fought for rebounds, dived across the court to knock the basketball away and even jumped to the top of the scorer's table trying for a steal in the second half.
Bollant said it was Wojta's most complete game in a Green Bay uniform.
''I think she's going to have many more games like that, and she's already shown that she's had many games like that,'' Phoenix freshman guard Megan Lukan said.
After not attempting a shot in the first 8 1/2 minutes, Wojta erupted for 15 straight points on 6 of 7 shooting, including a pair of 3-pointers, in the next 5 minutes to put Green Bay ahead 25-20.
Wojta had 17 points in the first half. She scored 10 straight points to put the Phoenix ahead 52-43 with 11 minutes left in the game.
Wojta entered play averaging 18.6 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Her previous career high for rebounds (17) came in Green Bay's 68-50 win at Wright State in January.
''That's as good of a one-person performance I've seen in a while,'' Wright State coach Mike Bradbury said. ''She was outstanding. And as good as she is, that's even outstanding for her.''
The Phoenix, which has won 13 straight conference titles, hasn't lost back-to-back games since January 2010. Green Bay has won 46 of its last 48 games, with its only other loss came to Baylor, this season's No. 1-ranked team, in the round of 16 in last year's NCAA tournament.
Lukan added 12 points for the Phoenix, which shot only 34.3 percent from the floor. UWGB forced Wright State (16-9, 9-4) into 24 turnovers.
Molly Fox had 16 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Raiders, who entered play in a second-place tie with Detroit in the Horizon. Kim Demmings and Kayla Lamotte each added 11 points for Wright State, and KC Elkins had 10 points.