The undefeated Wisconsin GLO advanced to the championship game of the Global Women’s Basketball Association playoffs with a 106-48 rout over the Music City Icons during the semifinal round Saturday, Aug. 10 at Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh, Wis.
The GLO scored the first eight points of the game on the way to building leads of 31-10 after one quarter, 63-22 at intermission and 94-36 entering the final period.
Top-seeded Wisconsin (13-0), playing its inaugural season, is set to play the three-time reigning GWBA playoff champion Flint Monarchs (7-6) for the league title. Third-seeded Flint secured a spot in the championship with a 104-83 victory over the second-seeded St. Louis Surge (4-5) on Saturday in Oshkosh.
The opening tip of the GWBA playoff final is schedule for 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11 in Menominee Nation Arena.
Taylor Wurtz paced five GLO double-digit scorers with a game-high 19 points during Saturday’s semifinal. Wurtz, who scored 11 points during the second period, finished the night 6-for-8 from the field, including 4-for-4 from 3-point range, in just 17 minutes.
Steph Kostowicz added 12 points in 19 minutes off the GLO bench while Jolene Anderson and Angela Rodriguez both had 11 points, Mehryn Kraker chipped in 10, and Jessica Lindstrom and Sam Logic had seven points apiece in limited action. Logic also dished out a game-high six assists in 13 minutes played.
Wisconsin’s Julie Wojta contributed six points and a game-best seven rebounds as no member of the GLO played more than 27 minutes.
The GLO concluded the contest shooting 54.8 percent (40-73) from the field and 52 percent (13-25) from beyond the arc. Wisconsin also owned advantages of 57-38 in rebounds, 29-4 in assists, 12-19 in turnovers, 12-6 in steals and 8-0 in blocks.
Fourth-seeded Music City (0-8) was ousted from its first GWBA playoff appearance after being held to 18-for-76 (.237 field goal percentage) from the floor.
Wisconsin’s triumph began with back-to-back 3-pointers by Wurtz and Kraker before a Logic layup provided the GLO an 8-0 lead more than two minutes into the contest. The GLO would eventually produce six runs of at least seven consecutive points during the first three quarters.
A 3-pointer from Rodriguez extended the GLO cushion to 47-15 with 4:25 to go in the second quarter. Wisconsin later held its largest lead of 61 points at 106-45 following a Rodriguez jumper with 2:06 remaining in the game.
The GLO shot a remarkable 66.7 percent from both the field and the 3-point line during the first half, knocking down 8 of 12 attempts from long range over the first 20 minutes.
Wisconsin, which surpassed 100 points for the sixth time this season, is now averaging 100.1 points per contest on the year.
Calisha Clark led Music City with 17 points while Brea Edwards added 13. Clark and Edwards shot a combined 11-for-38 from the field.
Wisconsin also defeated Music City during the regular season by scores of 88-45 June 1 in Nashville, Tenn., and 128-56 June 22 in Oshkosh.
In Saturday’s first semifinal, Flint pulled away from St. Louis behind a 41-point fourth quarter. Clinging to a 63-58 lead entering the final period, the Monarchs put the game away with a 14-2 run over the next 2:17. Flint shot 16-for-23 from the floor over the final 10 minutes.
Flint’s Crystal Bradford poured in 41 points on 17 of 25 shooting from the field to go along with game highs of 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals.
Nici Gilday paced St. Louis with 27 points.
A five-member All-GWBA Team was announced prior to Saturday’s semifinal games. Anderson and Gabbi Ortiz represented the GLO on the first ever regular season all-league squad. Rounding out the All-GWBA Team were Player of the Year Rebecca Harris from St. Louis and Flint’s Bradford and Arlesia Morse.
The GWBA playoff festivities included a Skills Challenge and 3-Point Contest between the semifinal games. The GLO’s Logic secured the Skills Challenge title with a time of 18.2 seconds. St. Louis’ Kelsey McClure was the runner-up in 24.9 seconds. Morse claimed the 3-Point Contest championship with a final round of 13-for-25 from behind the arc. Clark and Edwards from Music City finished second and third in the 3-Point Contest with respective scores of 12 and 11 in the final round.
Flint has won all three playoff championships in GWBA history. The Monarchs won their previous league titles by scores of 99-52 over the Akron Innovators in 2016, 83-68 over the Milwaukee Aces in 2017 and 96-85 over the Chicago Breeze a year ago.