Warhawks soar to top of WIAC standings

Josh Sinclair, Senior Staff Writer

The UW-Whitewater Warhawks women’s basketball team (16-1 overall, 6-0 WIAC), claimed sole possession of first place in the conference standings after two conference victories.

The first game of the week took place on Jan. 18 when the Titans of UW-Oshkosh came to Kachel Gymnasium for a first place showdown with the Warhawks. 

The ’Hawks used a decisive 10-0 run midway through the fourth quarter to turn a one-point deficit into a 47-38 advantage with 4:31 remaining in the contest.

UW-Whitewater, made 12-of-14 free throws in the second half and finished 15-of-17 for the game, held off the Titans in the waning minutes.

Sophomore forward Becky Deichl converted on a spin move with 1:38 on the clock to give the Warhawks a two possessions that they never relinquished the rest of the way.

Junior guards Malia Smith and Brooke Trewyn both led the Warhawks and racked up double doubles. Smith registered a game-high 20 points, to go along with a career-high 12 rebounds. Smith filled in the rest of the box score with five assists and four steals.

Trewyn tallied 17 points, 10 rebounds and two assists. Deichl, senior guard Reilly Stewart and sophomore forward Olivia Freckmann all contributed with six points apiece.

The Titans led 12-8 through one quarter and started the second on a 6-2 run to extend their lead to eight points.

The Warhawks countered with a 11-0 run to take the lead. 

Trewyn closed the half with a driving runner from the left block to give the Warhawks a 26-23 lead heading into the locker room.

The two teams twice exchanged the lead in the third quarter and were tied two different times, and UW-Whitewater took a 35-33 advantage heading into the fourth.

UW-Oshkosh scored five straight points early in the fourth to take its final lead before the Warhawks’ game-clinching run.

The Warhawks second contest took place on Jan. 21 against UW-Stout in a WIAC matchup. The  ’Hawks turned a 54-51 deficit through three quarters into a 74-63 victory to stay perfect in conference. 

The Blue Devils (5-12) got no closer than 10 points the rest of the way.

Stewart led UW-Whitewater with 19 points, including four 3-pointers. Trewyn, who tallied eight points during the decisive, fourth-quarter run, collected 18 points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three steals.

Deichl made 6-of-7 from the field to post a career-high 14 points, including 10 in the first half. Freckmann registered seven points, a career-high 17 rebounds and three assists. Freckmann’s rebound total is the season high for the team.

“In the first half they really outrebounded us,” Stewart said. “We made it a point of emphasis to box out and crash the glass in the second half.”

The Warhawks shot 41.5 percent for the game and held UW-Stout to shoot less than 30 percent in each of the final two quarters.

“Our defense was really good which lead to creating turnovers and missed shots,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “We had to do a better job grabbing the boards, but we gave good effort in the second half and it gives us a lesson to learn.”

UW-Whitewater committed only five turnovers and forced 16 on the other end that led to 21 points off the Blue Devils’ miscues.

The first three quarters contained 12 ties and 12 lead changes.

“They were able to get second chance points and that kept them in it,” coach Carollo said.

The Blue Devils trailed UW-Whitewater by only three at the end of the period.

The Blue Devils outscored the Warhawks 22-15 in the second quarter to take a 39-35 halftime advantage.

“We came out in the second half with energy and were able to use our talent,” Stewart said. “We took advantage of the spots we had.”

UW-Stout extended its lead to five with 8:41 left in the third, but UW-Whitewater fired back with a 7-0 run, capped by a 3-pointer by Trewyn, to take a 44-42 lead with 5:44 on the clock.

The Blue Devils scored four of the final six points in the period to take a three-point lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

A 23-9 fourth quarter gave the Warhawks the win.

The Warhawks continue WIAC play at 7 p.m. on Jan. 25 at UW-Stevens Point.