March 4, 2015 By Emily Leclair
In the second time playing UW-Oshkosh in just seven days, the UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team ended its season with a first round WIAC Championship tournament loss to the Titans 66-59. The ’Hawks finished 13-13 overall and 8-8 in conference.
“That’s always a challenge, especially when it’s on the road,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “I think if we had had a chance to play at home it would have been a little bit different.”
Free throws played a key role in the game with 52 fouls being called in the game. The ’Hawks went 14-for-20 from the line and the Titans went 28-for-37.
UW-W held the lead for all but 1:48 in the first half. Junior Maddie Bare capped the ’Hawks largest lead of the half 28-20, with a 3-pointer with five minutes left to play.
The team headed into the half leading the Titans 32-31.
UW-W held the Titans to 24 percent from the field and six baskets in the second half, but Oshkosh went to the line 26 times.
“Basically, it comes down to what team does the better job at competing down the stretch and it wasn’t us tonight,” Carollo said.
With 8:17 left in the first half, the ’Hawks had built its lead to 54-46. The Titans fought back and at 2 minutes, the game was tied 54-54.
Fouling brought Oshkosh to the line five times in a row, allowing the Titans to build its lead 63-57 with 23 seconds left to play.
Junior Abbie Reeves added two free throws to get the ’Hawks back in it, but the Titans hit nearly every free-throw to seal the WIAC Championship first-round win.
Reeves led the team with 15 points and went 5-for-7 from the line. Freshman Brooke Trewyn and junior Saya Perkins added 12 points each and Trewyn posted a game-high nine rebounds.
“It’s been a rocky year,” Reeves said. “There’s a lot of good things and a lot of bad things and we overcame a lot of diversity.”
The team lost junior Lisa Palmer to a broken hand halfway through the season. Palmer led the team in rebounds with 7.7 and averaged 7.4 points a game.
Along with losing Palmer, the ’Hawks were a young team with nine freshmen and no seniors after losing eight to graduation last year.
Carollo thought the young team did a good job of coming together to work as a team.
“I’m proud of how we finished the year,” Carollo said. “We really came together as a team and started playing some really good basketball toward the end.”
Reeves and Trewyn led the ’Hawks in scoring with 10 points a game while freshman Andrea Meinhart and Trewn led the team in rebounds, averaging about five a game.
UW-W averaged 65.9 points per game during the regular season, with a 1.9 scoring margin against its opponents. The ’Hawks also averaged 37.5 rebounds per game, even after losing Palmer.
The team looks forward to next season and the potential it has to offer.
“I’m really excited for the future with this group,” Carollo said. “I hope this kind of stings them a little bit so they’re highly motivated this off-season to work hard and get better for next year.”