Special to the EagleHerald
Oconto’s Laken James (5), who was selected to the All-Horizon League’s second team, will wait with her teammates for a potential at-large bid to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.
Special to the EagleHerald

Oconto’s Laken James (5), who was selected to the All-Horizon League’s second team, will wait with her teammates for a potential at-large bid to the NCAA women’s basketball tournament.

DETROIT — Laken James (Oconto) and the UW-Green Bay women’s basketball team have a long weekend of waiting ahead.

The Phoenix are waiting for Monday’s NCAA Tournament selections before knowing where they’ll play their postseason games to conclude the 2018-19 season, after missing an automatic bid with a 55-52 loss to Wright State in Tuesday’s Horizon League Tournament Championship final in Detroit.

They earned entry to the title game with a 55-53 win over Youngstown State in last Monday’s tournament semifinal, where James had nine points, seven rebounds and three assists for the Phoenix. That led to the season’s third matchup with Wright State, which topped the Horizon League in the regular season and garnered the No. 1 seed for the following tournament.

After splitting a pair of games with Wright State during the regular season, the Phoenix had a good start toward winning the season series and securing the tournament title by taking an 11-5 lead in the first quarter. Wright State scored the final four points of the quarter and trimmed Green Bay’s lead to 11-9 entering the second.

But, the Raiders scored the first nine points of the second quarter and entered halftime with a 27-16 lead. Green Bay responded in the third with a 15-6 run to pull within a basket with less than three minutes remaining in quarter.

The Phoenix took a brief lead with a 3-pointer from Hailey Oskey, assisted by James, giving them a 36-35 lead. Wright State answered with the final basket of the quarter and took a 37-36 lead into the fourth.

The Raiders rebuilt their lead to nine points with under seven minutes remaining, though a 7-0 run from Green Bay capped by a layup from James tied the game at 49-49 with just over 90 seconds remaining. After the Raiders made three of their four free throw attempts to take a 53-49 lead, James hit a 3-pointer with 18 seconds remaining to pull the Phoenix within a point.

Green Bay then regained possession, trailing 54-52 and with 11 seconds on the clock. Unfortunately for the Phoenix, a 3-point attempt was missed and the Raiders added an insurance free throw to secure the win.

James finished with eight points, eight assists and five rebounds for Green Bay. They are guaranteed a berth in the WNIT, but are still alive for an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament.