Warhawks lose star

Jan. 28, 2015 By Paul Bressler

UW-Whitewater women’s basketball sophomore forward Lisa Palmer broke her left hand in practice on Jan. 22, and is once again relegated to the bench for the rest of the season.

This is not the first time Palmer has suffered a debilitating injury that has kept her out for an extended period of time. After a successful freshman season, in which she helped lead the Warhawks to a national runner-up finish, Palmer suffered a knee injury that forced her to miss her entire sophomore year. Palmer redshirted that season, and did not lose her sophomore season of eligibility.

As a freshman, she started in 32 of 33 games and was third on the team in rebounding.

Through 17 starts before the broken hand, Palmer led the team in rebounds with 7.7, blocks and assists. She was also third on the team in scoring and steals.

The ’Hawks came up just short in its first game without Palmer in a 68-65 loss to the conference leading UW-Superior Yellowjackets in which the team had two chances from beyond the arc to send the game into overtime in the final seconds.

“I thought they responded great tonight,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “We had a lot of people really step up. It’s tough because she’s [Palmer] a great rebounder and that’s probably where we miss her the most, and they knew that it would have to take a team effort to kind of fill the void. We played with a lot of heart. I was really proud with how they bounced back.”

The game went south quickly as the Yellowjackets jumped out to a 16-6 lead at the 13:36 mark following a layup by freshman forward Bailee Bartunek. The ’Hawks (8-10) battled back on a 17-9 run that was capped off by a bucket from downtown by junior forward Jaya Perkins with six minutes left in the first half. The team held or shared the lead for the next six minutes until sophomore guard Brynn Liljander buried a 3-pointer to end the half.

“This game really meant a lot to us especially after Wednesday, because we came out hard and then it just fell apart,” junior guard Abbie Reeves said. “We wanted to come out aggressive, angry. Try to maybe take it out on them a little bit. We know how important this game was, because they’re at the top of the conference.”

The ’Hawks struggled to get much of anything going in the second half and fell behind by ten, 54-44, with less than nine minutes to play.

The ’Hawks went on a furious 13-1 run that was capped off with a three by sophomore guard Andrea Olson with five minutes left in the game. A 7-0 run by the Yellowjackets put Whitewater in a bind, but the ’Hawks still had a chance to put the game into overtime trailing by just three.

With 11 seconds to play, freshman guard Brooke Trewyn got a wide open look from right center only to have the attempt graze the rim. A jump ball ensued, following the miss, and it gave the ’Hawks one more chance to complete the comeback.

The game concluded with a somewhat controversial no-call as Reeves attempted the game-tying three. Reeves, who is among the best three-point shooters in the country, got a decent look to close out the game.

“Brooke got a really good look,” Reeves said. “That last three seconds we ran our play. It’s hard to get that shot off. I had a pretty good shot, and [I felt] I got fouled. I mean you can’t do anything about it.”

The ’Hawks will look to turn things around against UW-Platteville (12-6, 5-4) on Jan. 28, 2015. Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. in Kachel Gymnasium.

“We’re just working hard to get better every day,” Carollo said. “That’s how we always are no matter if we are playing for a championship or not. We just want to keep improving and make sure that we keep working on the things we need to get better on for Wednesday. That’s all we can do at this point. It’s not going to be the typical Whitewater season that we’re used to, but our girls don’t care. They’re going to battle and scrap and fight every game and every day and continue to work hard for what’s to come.”