‘Hawks turning season around

Jan. 21, 2015 By Paul Bressler

After a tough start to the season, a much improved UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team looks to capitalize on the road against a struggling UW-Stevens Point team.

“It’s always a great game since it’s our big rival,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “They’re a good team and they’re well coached. I look forward to this game every year, because I know it’s going to be highly competitive and it’s going to be a grind it out game.”

The two teams have seemingly entered unfamiliar territory at least in terms of the programs’ recent history. The Warhawks and Pointers have grown accustomed to that success but currently sit at a somewhat unexpected 8-8.

“I don’t like .500,” sophomore guard Reilly Stewart said. “I think we should have won more games, but it’s tough because we’re a young team. We’re slowly getting there, but I think that we should have been there a little earlier.”

The teams look to be heading in opposite directions as the ’Hawks appear to be turning the corner. Whitewater has won six of its last nine games despite starting 2-5.

The Pointers, who looked to be building momentum during a 4-1 stretch, have lost four of its last five ballgames in the last month.

In a fierce WIAC battle, the ’Hawks secured a much needed conference victory, 70-57, down the stretch against UW-La Crosse on Jan. 17 in Kachel Gymnasium.

“We just played together,” Stewart said. “We encourage each other in timeouts, and we really get each other going.”

The Eagles took an early lead 11-6, before the ’Hawks came back with 11 straight points to take back the lead.

At the half, the ’Hawks led by more than eight points with the second half being similar to the first.

After battling back-and-forth for the lead, Whitewater had a 7-0 run which gave the team a 55-48 advantage. The ’Hawks closed out the game with a 12-0 run to take home the win.

Lisa Palmer led the team with 15 points, three blocks and three steals. She also grabbed six boards. Abbie Reeves was the only other Warhawk (12) in double figures. Smith grabbed a team-high eight rebounds.

“We started off rough in the beginning of the season, and now we’re starting to play better as a team,” Stewart said. “Really we’re starting to get together on defense, and I think that’s big. We had a lot of expectations coming into the season and it was rough, but we’re starting to work together.”