No. 22 Green Bay women win 4th straight HL tourney title

DETROIT — Allie Leclaire scored 24 points and tied a career high with eight rebounds, Jessica Lindstrom had her 41st career double-double and No. 22 Green Bay beat Wright State 62-44 on Tuesday for its fourth straight Horizon League Tournament championship and automatic NCAA berth.

The Phoenix, winners of 11 straight HL tournament games, has claimed seven of the last eight titles and 16 of 21. Green Bay is 16-4 all-time in the championship game for 18 NCAA Tournament appearances.

Lindstrom added 12 points and 14 rebounds, her 18th double-double this season, for top-seed Green Bay (29-3), which reached 29 wins for the sixth time in program history. Leclaire, named the tournament's MVP, averaged 20.3 points per game in three tournament games and made four 3-pointers against Wright State.





Green Bay held the league's player of the year Chelsea Welch to just 13 points on 2-of-15 shooting. The Raiders were 1 of 13 from long range and shot 28 percent overall.

The Phoenix closed the first quarter on a 7-0 run for a 10-point lead and Wright State didn't make a second-quarter field goal for the final seven minutes of the half to trail 38-21. Green Bay cruised in the second half, leading for over 38 minutes, for its seventh straight win and 62nd in 66 series meetings.

Lexi Smith scored 14 points for No. 3 seed Wright State (23-10). Welch scored 22 and 24 points in the two single-digit, regular-season losses to Green Bay.

Wright State tops Cleveland State 74-57, earns NCAA Tourney bid

DETROIT — Grant Benzinger had 19 points and nine rebounds to help second-seeded Wright State beat eighth-seeded Cleveland State 74-57 on Tuesday night to win the Horizon League Tournament title and earn an NCAA Tournament bid.

The Raiders (25-9) will play in college basketball's showcase for the third time in school history and the first since 2007.

The Vikings (12-23) took their last lead with 7:36 left in the first half and seemed to wear down, playing their fourth game in five days.

Wright State took control late in the first half with a 13-2 run, taking an 8-point lead at halftime. The Raiders outscored Cleveland State 10-2 early in the second half to pull away.

Loudon Love made his first field goal with 14:42 left to put the Raiders up 44-33. The 6-9, 275-pound center finished with nine points and 12 rebounds, setting the school's freshman scoring record and single-season mark for rebounds. Wright State's Cole Gentry and Jaylon Hall scored 11 points apiece.

Kenny Carpenter, playing in his hometown, had 18 points and Tyree Appleby scored 15 for the Raiders.

BIG PICTURE

Cleveland State: First-year coach Dennis Felton, who led Georgia and Western Kentucky to the NCAA Tournament, guided the low-seeded team to 1-point wins over Northern Kentucky and fourth-seeded Oakland near its suburban Detroit campus to advance to the finals. That gave the Vikings their first 4-game winning streak in four-plus years.

Wright State: Second-year coach Scott Nagy led South Dakota State to the NCAA Tournament in 2016 for third time in five years. The Horizon League Coach of the Year can use that experience to help his players, who were young kids the last time the Raiders were in the NCAA Tournament 11 years ago.

UP NEXT

Cleveland State: Felton started two freshmen — Appleby and Stefan Kenic — and can build around them next season.

Wright State: After an enjoyable trip back to campus in Dayton, Ohio, the Raiders will find out Sunday who they're playing and where they're headed in the NCAA Tournament.