’Hawks falter in final stretch

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By Adam Reed

Feb. 24, 2016

The No. 11-ranked UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team (19-4 overall) finished regular season play this week, falling to UW-Oshkosh and UW-Eau Claire in back-to-back losses.

The Warhawks went into the road contest with UW-Oshkosh on Feb. 17, riding a three-game win streak, but the No. 14-ranked Titans proved too much to handle. No one led by more than five points for the entire game, and the Titans held on to win by a final score of 60-57.

Both teams shot an almost identical percentage from the field for the game, but the Warhawk defensive effort, which held the Titans to 34 percent in the first half, allowed them to shoot 44 percent in the second half.

In addition to defensive struggles, the Warhawks had 13 turnovers in the game, leading to 18 points for the Titans, compared to just eight points off of eight turnovers for the Warhawks.

Senior forward Lisa Palmer led the way for UW-W, scoring a career-high 21 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and collecting nine rebounds. Sophomore guard Brooke Trewyn added nine points, eight rebounds and three assists for the ‘Hawks and was a perfect 4-of-4 from the foul line.

After the loss in Oshkosh, the Warhawks returned home to face the UW-EC on Feb. 20. The Blugolds came away with the victory by a final score of 68-55.

At the start of the fourth quarter, the Warhawks only trailed by seven, but senior guard Teenie Lichtfuss knocked down back-to-back jumpers to put UW-EC up by 12. The deficit remained in double digits for the remainder of the game.

Four different Blugolds scored in double figures, as the Warhawks’ defensive struggles continued. Freshman point guard Maddie Dunathan led all scorers with 20 and sophomore center Erin O’Toole added 19. Lichtfuss and sophomore forward Kayla Hanley tallied 13 and 10 points, respectively.

“It has taken a while for the cohesion to take place,” UW-EC head coach Tonja Englund said. “It’s taken a while for all of the different pieces to come together and I’d say after the last week and half or so it has really started to happen for us. I think Whitewater is a great team, and we feel like we’re in that mix.”

For UW-W, ball security problems persisted, as they turned the ball over 16 times in the game, and nine times in the first half. The Warhawks had a 41-29 advantage on the glass, including an 18-3 advantage on the offensive end, but were individually unable to reach double figures in any statistical category.

“I feel bad for this group because they are far better than this,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “When you decide to play very selfishly you can see that the outcome is not very favorable.”

UW-W celebrated Senior Day at halftime of the contest. Five seniors  have now played in their last regular season game for the Warhawks: Abbie Reeves, Jaya Perkins, Maddie Bare, Emily Jensen and Lisa Palmer.

“[I’m] a little disappointed, but there’s obviously not a whole lot we can do now that the game is over,” Perkins said. “The nice thing is we get them back on our home court on Tuesday. So it sucks to lose now but we can get them back, and go out on a win on our home court on Tuesday.”

Perkins went on to say the entire team is focused on setting things right in the WIAC tournament, which begins in a rematch with UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 23. at home in the Williams Center.

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