Sports Journalism Blog

By Madie Chandler | @Madie_Chandler

Sports Capital Journalism Program

INDIANAPOLIS — Green Bay defeated Purdue Fort Wayne 64-55 in a rematch of a 2023 Horizon League women’s semifinal matchup. The second-seeded Phoenix (25-6) advanced to the championship game against Cleveland State with a chance win the school’s 17th league title, which would be 14 more than the nearest current member.

“It was an expectation and a goal of ours,” said junior Maddy Schreiber, who scored 13 points with six rebounds. “It feels great to have that one under our belt, but we’re not done as a team. We have other things to do.”

In the 30 seasons since Green Bay joined the league then known as the Midwestern Collegiate Conference, Tuesday’s title game appearance will be the 24th.

Schreiber’s point total surpassed a magic mark for the Phoenix this season, who now hold a 16-4 record when she scores 12 or more. Her play down low was responsible for 10 Green Bay’s 38 total points in the paint. Junior Callie Genke, who came off the bench to score 16 points in 25 minutes on 6-of-11 shooting, combined with Schreiber to score 29 of Green Bay’s 64 points.

The victory sends the Phoenix to the Horizon League Championship game for the second consecutive year and provides an opportunity for coach Kevin Borseth to advance his team to the NCAA Tournament for the 13th time in his 21 years at Green Bay. Borseth, whose teams have won 508 games at Green Bay and 820 in 37 seasons overall, added that Purdue Fort Wayne coach Maria Marchesano told him there’s no way she’d coach for as long as he has as they passed one another after the game.

“It’s a lot of work for everybody,” Borseth began. “We’ve got a lot of intelligent players and really good coaches in our league…but it paid off and we get a chance to move on.”

Borseth’s Green Bay team finished second in the Horizon League’s regular season, bested only by their title game foe, Cleveland State. The Phoenix have extra motivation rolling into Tuesday’s final as they fell short of advancing to the NCAA Tournament last year following a loss in the Horizon League title game to the same Vikings.

Those Phoenix players were just sophomores. Now they’ve added a year of grit and experience that they hope to ride to the Big Dance.

“They’re experienced,” Purdue Fort Wayne’s Shayla Sellers said of the Phoenix. “They’re never going to give up.”

Sellers’ 14 points kept her Mastodons within three points through three quarters, but Green Bay’s 11-point run to close the fourth put the ‘Dons down for good. Green Bay made seven of its last eight shots. Fort Wayne made two of its last 10.

“They’re going to continue to make plays until the end of the game,” Sellers said. “They’re not going to fold when you go on a run.”