By Adam Reed
March 9, 2016
A championship run for the UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team (20-8 overall) was not to be this year; the team saw its season end in the second round of the NCAA national tournament on March 5.
The Warhawks backed into the tournament on a three-game skid, but were able to get back to winning basketball in the first round, besting Bluffton University [Ohio] 66-54. The team was unable to keep the momentum going the following round, falling to Washington University in St. Louis, 62-45.
Sophomore Brooke Trewyn led all scorers in the first-round matchup, tallying 23 points on 7- of-13 shooting from the field, and grabbing nine rebounds and a pair of steals and assists.
“I guess you could say I had the hot hand tonight,” Trewyn said. “It was nice to finally have [the hot hand] after having a slump in my offensive game…it was nice to be back.”
Senior Lisa Palmer contributed nine rebounds of her own and notched five points, four assists and three steals.
Sophomores Andrea Meinert and Malia Smith finished second and third in scoring for the Warhawks, totaling eight and seven points, respectively.
Collectively, the team continued its history of outrebounding opponents this year, holding a 46-36 edge on the glass. They also had a nearly 5 percent advantage in shooting percentage on the night, shooting 38.6 percent compared to Bluffton’s 33.9.
“It was a hard-fought battle,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “This time of the year it’s all about the ‘W’ and just advancing, and I thought our girls really battled on the glass.”
The second round for the Warhawks was an entirely different story, shooting a season-low 25.9 percent from the field, and defensively allowing Washington-St. Louis to shoot 46.7 percent, scoring 22 points in the paint.
Senior Abbie Reeves led the way in scoring for the Warhawks against Washington-St. Louis with 12 points, reaching 1,000 career points. She also knocked down four 3-pointers, which earned her the top spot in school history for 3-pointers made with 204. One of those shots brought the team within five going into the half.
“It was a huge shot,” Reeves said. “Going in only down five is a huge difference for us. It seems a lot more realistic to come back from than an eight-point lead. It just gets the momentum [going] and making shots going into the half so we have a lot more energy and intensity for the second half.”
Palmer made contributions in multiple categories again versus Washington-St.Louis, scoring 10 points, grabbing seven boards and adding two steals and an assist. Meinert led the team in rebounds with 10.
The Warhawks snapped an eight-game streak of double-digit turnovers in the regular season finale against UW-Eau Claire, but ball security problems resurfaced in the national tournament. The team coughed the ball up 20 times in the Bluffton game and 17 in the game against Washington-St. Louis, which led to 36 points total over the two games.
UW-Whitewater’s exit from the tournament marks the last opportunity to take the floor for five seniors. Palmer and Reeves join Jaya Perkins, Maddie Bare and Emily Jensen in playing their final game in a Warhawk uniform.
“They are a unique group,” Carollo said. “With Lisa [Palmer] and Abbie [Reeves], and Emily Jensen being with us all four years, and having the opportunity to play in three NCAA tournaments, and in their first two years getting to go to the Final Four…just all of those things that they’ll talk about for the rest of their lives.”