UW-Green Bay Phoenix
| MESSAGE BOARD
REGION: East SEED: 14
COACH: Kevin Borseth CONFERENCE: Horizon
Road to the Final Four ...................................................................................
|PLAYER TO WATCH|
Though junior guard Mary Kulenkamp notched the first triple-double in the program's 31-year history (10 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists in 37 minutes) in UW-Green Bay's regular-season finale, and Nicole Soulis was the Horizon League Newcomer of the Year, Scharlow deserves props for serving as the team's most consistent player. The 5-foot-8 junior guard finished the regular season as the only player in the nine-team conference to rank in the top 12 in scoring (16.3), rebounding (5.8), assists (4.2) and steals. As a result, the Cleveland State transfer was named to the all-league first team.
ANALYSIS BY ESPN'S STACEY DALES-SCHUMAN
One might not have expected such brilliant odds for a UW-Green Bay team that lost two starters to injury and at one point had just eight active bodies. But, all odds aside, the Phoenix earned their third consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.
Last year's trip to the Big Dance was the team's most successful. Coach Kevin Borseth led UW-Green Bay to its first tournament win (over Washington) en route to the school's best record in program history (28-4).
This season, after suffering four early losses in December to tough opponents such as TCU and Minnesota, the Phoenix cruised through the Horizon League, suffering just three losses.
Well-conditioned, 37-minute performer Abby Scharlow carries UW-Green Bay. This versatile standout notches 17 points, six boards and a team-best four assists. Scharlow has made vast improvements from the season before, when she only averaged 22 minutes and eight points.
Besides Scharlow, another player who has really impressed is freshman 6-foot-2 front woman Nicole Soulis. And with totals of 14 points, six boards and a 51 percent stroke from the field, UW-Green Bay's future sits in sturdy hands.
It's safe to say, however, that the Phoenix aren't one of the nation's best boarding clubs. They're getting outrebounded by three caroms, and are, in fact, the league's worst rebounding offense. This might be due in large part to the fact that they lost two of their leading senior scorers to injury, one of whom (6-1 Tiffany Mor) was leading the team with both 17 points and almost seven rebounds.
What UW-Green Bay does have going for itself is a whole bunch of shooters in addition to individuals who are willing to work defensively. The Phoenix shoot a league-best 36 percent from the land afar, and they still get to the free-throw line at least 18 times, with a 76 percent accuracy at the charity stripe. As a result, they outscored everybody in the conference by more than eight points a game. Fortunately, they're also holding opponents to fewer than than 59 points.