The Wisconsin GLO were absolutely dazzling in their franchise debut.
Stocked with many of the most talented players the Badger State has ever produced, the GLO proved emphatically that they are prepared for the upcoming challenge of competing with the best teams in the Global Women’s Basketball Association, defeating the three-time reigning league champion Flint Monarchs, 88-58, during an exhibition game Friday, May 10 in Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh.
The GLO’s star-studded roster took turns in the spotlight as Gabbi Ortiz led a balanced offense with 18 points and a game-high six assists.
Steph Kostowicz added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the GLO, who also received 12 points from Allie LeClaire, 11 from Sam Logic and 10 from Mehryn Kraker, who added six rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals. Laura Johnson and Angela Rodriguez chipped in nine points apiece.
The GLO reclaimed the lead for good at 6-5 following a 3-pointer by Logic early in the first quarter. Logic’s long-range jumper sparked a 13-0 run that was capped by 3-pointers from Kraker and Rodriguez.
Flint cut its deficit to 22-13 late in the opening period, but the GLO answered with a 19-5 run for a 41-18 cushion and led by at least 16 points the rest of the way. Wisconsin built its largest lead of 33 points at 84-51 following a string of 10 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. Ortiz accounted for four points during the 10-0 run while Kostowicz, Kraker and Logic each added two.
Playing on a replica of the iconic MECCA Arena floor, Wisconsin shot 7-for-15 from 3-point range during the first half and finished the game with 24 assists on 33 made field goals.
The Monarchs scored just 27 points after intermission on 23.7 percent (9-38) shooting from the field. Flint ended the contest 19-for-74 (.257) from the floor, including 2-for-24 (.077) from beyond the arc.
Flint’s Arlesia Morse, a 2018 All-GWBA First Team selection, led all players with 21 points on 6-for-20 shooting from the field to go along with 11 rebounds.
Nya Jordan had 11 points and nine boards for the Monarchs while Rachel Kehoe contributed nine points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.
Flint has ruled the GWBA since the association formed in 2016, compiling a 21-3 record the past three seasons on the way to claiming each of the league’s postseason championships.
Wisconsin and Flint will be joined in the four-team GWBA by the Music City Icons and St. Louis Surge during the 2019 season. The association is set to expand to 10 teams in 2020.
Friday’s game was the first of two exhibitions the GLO will play before hosting the GWBA regular season opener Saturday, May 18 against fellow expansion franchise St. Louis Surge. Wisconsin hosts Flint for another exhibition game at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 11 in Menominee Nation Arena.