On Saturday afternoon, as the city of St. Louis celebrated champions elsewhere, the two-time National Champion Surge saw just how tough it’s going to be to claim the GWBA crown in 2019. After a 92-66 defeat at the hands of the Wisconsin GLO in the team’s season opener, the Surge were imbued with optimism due to the presence of starters Rebecca Harris, Kristi Bellock, and Nici Gilday, who all missed the opening defeat. The Surge, at full strength, still proved no match for the undefeated GLO, falling 107-70 to the now 4-0 powerhouse from Oshkosh.
The GLO opened the game as strong as they’ve been all season, gashing the Surge in transition for easy points and moving the ball in the halfcourt to create open corner 3-pointers. Less than six minutes into the game, the GLO led 20-11 thanks to 8-for-11 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 from 3. The GLO’s hot shooting persisted for the remainder of the quarter as they finished the quarter with a 31-20 lead behind 72.2% shooting from the floor.
Wisconsin didn’t slow down in the second frame, building their lead to 62-35 at half. The GLO maintained sky-high conversion rates from all over the floor for the entire half, connecting on 19 of 26 2-point attempts, 6 of 13 3-point attempts, and 6 of 7 free-throw attempts. For the entire half, the GLO pressured Surge ball-handlers and obstructed passing lanes, forcing St. Louis into 11 first-half turnovers.
The GLO’s commanding halftime lead came on the back of 16 points from sharpshooting former Big Ten Player of the Year Jolene Anderson and 13 from Taylor Wurtz, who wowed with deceptive ball-handling, strong takes to the rim, and confident pull-up shooting. The Surge, meanwhile, spread the production around, with every starter contributing between five and eight points.
The Surge couldn’t slow Wisconsin after half, as the GLO continued to build their lead. They kept forcing turnovers, the shots kept falling, and the Surge failed to make up any ground. The Surge looked for answers everywhere, with Coach Henderson giving playing time to every single member of the team by the 2:30 mark in the third frame, but the Surge couldn’t find an answer. Despite admirable hustle to close the quarter, capped off by a steal and runout from Mikala McGhee, the Surge finished the quarter down 88-53.
By the start of the fourth, the deficit for the Surge was insurmountable. The Surge got an encouraging spark from Nakiah Bell, who did not play in the Surge’s 105-89 victory over the Flint Monarchs last week, but came off the bench to hit three 3-pointers all in the second half. Bell’s efforts were far from enough, though, as the GLO held on to win 107-70.
Like at half, the GLO were led by Anderson (25) and Wurtz (19) in scoring at the final buzzer. For the first time in her Surge career, McGhee led the Surge in scoring with 13 points (and again led in steals with 3). Bell, Harris, Gilday, and Bellock all chipped in 11. The Surge now sit 1-2 and tied for second in the GWBA standings as the GLO continue to gain separation from the rest of the league.
The Surge will be off next weekend but return to action the following weekend for back-to-back games on Saturday, June 29th against the Music City Icons and Sunday, June 30th for one final regular season confrontation with the GLO. The games will be played at Washington University’s Field House and both will tip at 3:05 pm. Tickets are available for purchase here and at the door.