Women’s Basketball: Warhawks hand Titans first loss of the season

 

Jan. 8

By Daniel Schoettler

The UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team won a close WIAC game against the previously undefeated UW-Oshkosh Titans 72-66 Wednesday night in Kachel gym.  The win keeps the Warhawks undefeated in WIAC play so far this season at 4-0.

“It feels good to win at home that’s the important thing,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “Anytime you have a conference game at home, you got to win the home games.”

In the first half of the game, the lead changed hands 10 times with the Titans having the advantage much of the half.  With the score was tied at 23 with 4:58 left in the half, the Titans rattled off eight straight points to make it 31-23 at the 3:07 mark.

The ’Hawks made a late run in the first half that helped cut the Titans’ lead to four at 35-31 at halftime.

The ’Hawks took the lead over UW-Oshkosh 41-40 after sophomore guard Abbie Reeves made a layup. After the exchange of the lead, the ’Hawks never gave it back up.

The team had a seven point lead twice in the second half at both the 4:20 mark (62-55) and at the 3:23 mark (64-57).

The Titans climbed back into the game by pulling within two with less than three minutes to go.  The ’Hawks used an Amy Mandrell jumper and two Mary Merg free throws to put the lead up to six at 68-62 with 57 seconds left.

The Titans were then forced to foul and the ’Hawks sealed the win with four free throws.

Carollo’s club shot 41.9 percent from the field for the game while hitting 19 of its 24 free throws.  The Titans shot 40.4 percent from the field and shot 74.1 percent from the line. 

One difference that heavily favored the Titans in the game was from the three point line, where they shot 8-for-15 while the ’Hawks only made one 3-pointer in the game with its seven attempts.

“It really felt like everybody contributed,” Carollo said. “It was a really balanced attack, which is something we’ve always prided ourselves on.  Anytime you can do that, when it’s not just one or two people it makes us harder to defend.”

The ’Hawks had four players in double digits in the game.  Leading the way for the team was senior guard Mary Merg with 20 points.

Senior point guard Kaitlyn Thill added 19 points which helped pushed her UW-Whitewater career total over 1,000 points.  Senior guard Katie Burton had 13 while senior forward Amy Mandrell contributed 12 points.

“We just definitely played as a team.” Thill said.  “Everyone stuck together in the end.  As a team playing together is when everything comes together, and [we’ll definitely] take a win when we have good defense and box outs.”

The ’Hawks move to 10-3 on the season and are now 4-0 in WIAC play. The teams’ next game is on the road against UW-Eau Claire on Jan. 11 and its next home game is on Jan. 22 against UW-Lacrosse.

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