Women’s Basketball: Warhawks lead by 30 at half, still perfect in WIAC play


Jan. 25

By Daniel Schoettler

The Warhawks women’s basketball team continued their dominance Saturday against the UW-River Falls Falcons with a 96-50 win to improve to 15-3 overall and 9-0 in WIAC play.  The win is also their ninth in a row and they remain perfect at home at 7-0.

The game was close for the first ten minutes of the game as the Falcons were able to take a three point lead about three minutes into the game.  The ’Hawks cut the lead to one at 8-7 after senior center Kristen Ruchti hit two from the line and senior point guard Kaitlyn Thill made a jumper at the 15:11 mark.

From that point on, the Falcons never saw the lead again.

After senior Amy Mandrell and freshman Reilly Stewart extended the Warhawks lead to four at 14-10, the Falcons were able to cut the lead to one on two occasions, but the ’Hawks ended the half on a 32-3 run to take a 50-20 lead into the locker room.

The Warhawks picked up exactly where they left off in the first half by stretching their lead to 41 with 15:45 left in the contest.  The team took its biggest lead of the game after freshman Michele Molini stole the ball and dished it out to fellow freshman Kate Bemis to increase the lead to 48 at 96-48 with a minute left.

Thill led the team in scoring with 18 points and she was followed up by the 6-foot-2 newcomer Ruchti with 13.

 Seven ’Hawks were perfect from the line in the game with Thill and Ruchti going a perfect 5-of-5 and senior forward Amy Mandrell as well as sophomore Abbie Reeves both went 4-of-4 from the line.  The team shot 80.5 percent from the charity stripe.

“We came out as a team tonight,” Thill said.  “It definitely showed with the stats, and how we were playing together on defense and offense.  It was the best defense we’ve played all year.”

The Warhawks defense forced 24 turnovers in the game leading to 33 points while adding 18 second chance points.

“Our press was awesome,” head coach Keri Carollo said.  “They really got after them.  I think if we would have continued to press that it would have been even uglier.  It was fun to see them really turn it up and play with a lot of heart and passion and give it their best.”

The Warhawks shot 50 percent from the field while shooting 53.8 percent from three point range.   The Falcons shot 37 percent from the field while shooting 50 percent from three point range.

The team’s next game is at home on Wednesday against UW-Platteville at 7 p.m. at Kachel Gym.