EagleHerald/Billy Betts Jordan Miller of UWGB-Marinette, puts up a floater over UW-Stevens Point/Wausau forward Alexandria McKibben during their game on Saturday.
EagleHerald/Billy Betts Jordan Miller of UWGB-Marinette, puts up a floater over UW-Stevens Point/Wausau forward Alexandria McKibben during their game on Saturday.

<
1
2
>

MARINETTE — Sometimes it takes a quarter for shots to fall and defense to settle in. That was the case for the UWGB-Marinette Lady Buccaneers on Saturday.

Trailing 15-11 in the first quarter, the Lady Bucs found their groove in the second quarter and eventually earned a 74-53 victory over UW-Stevens Point/Wausau.

“We beat a good Marathon team despite a poor start,” UWGB-Marinette coach Jeff Sunstrom said. “They punched us in the mouth early, but we responded. I’m very proud of the girls for that.”

The Huskies went with a 1-2-2 defense to start the game against UWGB-Marinette and Sunstrom had to make some adjustments after the Lady Bucs trailed 8-2 five minutes in.

“I had an inkling that they were going with a 1-3-1 defense against us, but the 1-2-2 gave us a little different look,” Sunstrom said. “I give a lot of credit to Laura (Raatz), she helped me get these girls prepared to adjust.”

Trailing 18-14 three minutes into the second quarter, shots started to fall for the Lady Bucs, beginning with a mid-range jumper from Jenna Thill.

Sara Pettit put UWGB-Marinette ahead for the first time at 19-18, after knocking down a 3-pointer. Thill later sank back-to-back long jumpers and the Lady Bucs finished the half on a 16-1 run, taking a 37-23 into the half. 

“Jenna’s shooting got us going and Sarah made key plays for us,” Sunstrom said. “Sarah is the glue to this team. She’s been a vital part of two state championships so she’s a winner. She knows where to be and when to be there.”

Thill, along with Paige Reiswitz kept the momentum going for the Lady Buccaneers.

Pettit scored on a floater and made two free throws while both McKenzie Bebo and Mercedes Waupoose connected on 3-pointers, extending the Lady Bucs lead to 55-32 during the final minute of the third quarter.

The Huskies, who only had six players, were only able to cut the deficit to 17 from there, something Sunstrom credited his defense along with his well-conditioned players.

“We wore them right down and beat them with our transition game,” Sunstrom said. “They ran three different zones against us and handled them all really well after the first quarter.”

Leading the way for the Lady Bucs was Reiswitz with 16 points, 10 of which came in the first half. Thill finished with 15, Pettit had 12 and Jordan Miller added 10.

UW-Stevens Point-Wausau was led by Gliniecki with 24 points and Alexandria McKibben chipped in 12.

The Lady Bucs improved to 4-1 overall, 4-0 in the Wisconsin Collegiate Conference.

“Just impressed with how well we shot, especially after not shooting well in practice and early in the game,” Raatz said. “Jenna got us going and the shots starting falling from there. It was a nice game from everyone.”