Still sweet, but second upset gets away

Celeste Hoewish with possession of the ball at the March 23, 2010 game against Iowa State

Tuesday (March 23) Update: UW-Green Bay dominated the action  for 30 minutes against Iowa State on the Cyclones’ home floor, but a back-and-forth game down the stretch ended with a 60-56 loss in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. The Phoenix had the ball and a chance to shoot for the win but a turnover with 5 seconds remaining and Iowa State free throws on the other end finished the season at 28-5. Kayla Tetschlag scored a career-high 29 points for the Phoenix.  Coach Matt Bollant’s team jumped out to a 10-lead to start the game, and held a 34-29 halftime lead on a buzzerbeater by reserve forward Stephanie Sension. Behind crisp passing, pressure defense and clutch shooting, UW-Green Bay maintained its advantage after halftime. The veteran Cyclones methodically found the openings  and eventually tied it at 45 with 11 minutes left. Iowa State improved to 18-1 on its home floor, the only loss coming to unbeaten Big 12 champion Nebraska. To repeat their trip last year to the Elite Eight, they’ll have to get past undefeated and top-ranked UConn in the Sweet 16 round this weekend in Dayton, Ohio.

View more photos from this game in the UW-Green Bay Athletics Photo Gallery

Sunday (March 21) Update: They didn’t score a basket in the final 12 minutes, their two best players fouled out, and they committed a whopping 30 turnovers, but all the underdog UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team did was win Sunday night: 69-67 over Virginia in a first-round NCAA Tournament game. Expert free-throw shooting and a big scoring run shortly after halftime built a large enough lead to hold off the Cavaliers. The Phoenix, now 28-4, won its third NCAA game ever and gets to stay an extra two days in Ames, Iowa to face  Iowa State on Tuesday night (March 23) for a chance at the program’s first ever Sweet 16 appearance. For a game recap, see the Athletics website at http://www.greenbayphoenix.com/

All those years of playing tough non-conference schedules, and winning, have paid off! Upset in the Horizon League semifinals, the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team nonetheless received a call from the NCAA Tournament selection committee Monday night (March 15)with an at-large berth in the 2010 field of 64. The 27-4 Phoenix rated a No. 12 seed in the Dayton regional. The Phoenix (27-4) will begin play at 6:21 p.m. Sunday night (March 21) vs. No. 5 seed Virginia (21-9) in a game to be played in Ames, Iowa. With a win they’d advance to the second round against the winner of the Iowa State/Lehigh game in the other pairing. The at-large bid is the first for a Horizon League team that didn’t win the conference’s automatic bid by virtue of winning the conference tournament. The Green Bay Press-Gazette had breaking coverage.

Scroll down to Phoenix Phlix on this web page to see the reaction of the Phoenix women’s team Monday night when they heard the NCAA bid announcement.