Green Bay wasted little distancing itself from Valparaiso.
The No. 13-ranked Phoenix scored the first six points of the women's basketball game on Thursday, built a double-digit lead in the first eight minutes and cruised to a 75-48 Horizon League victory over the visiting Crusaders.
"They're a very, very physical team," VU coach Keith Freeman said of Green Bay. "I don't know if there's a better team defensively in the country."
The Phoenix (25-1, 15-0) have victories this season over Penn State and Wisconsin, the Big Ten's No. 2 and 3 teams.
Green Bay flexed its defensive muscles against the Crusaders (7-21, 4-12), limiting VU to just 8-of-24 shooting in the first half (33 percent).
"The first thing is they make it hard for you to move the basketball," said Freeman, whose Crusaders trailed 45-19 at the break. "They pressure every pass. You cannot run set plays on them, because they stop everything you design to do. You have to rely on your skills."
"There's a reason they're undefeated against the Big Ten this season."
Despite the lopsided loss, Freeman was pleased with how his team played in the second half. VU scored 30 points after halftime.
"We handled the pressure much better as the game wore on," Freeman said.
Valparaiso High grad Stefanie Lang came off the bench to lead the team with 11 points and eight rebounds. Fellow freshman Tabitha Gerardot added 10 points.
"I was pleased with how some of the kids off the bench got some production," Freeman said. "Two freshmen led us in scoring.
"We just need to continue to build in develop our skills. This is a game you prepare for while during summer workouts. You have to have the strength of mind to prepare to play as this level. This is where we want to be."