‘Hawks earn first round bye in WIAC tourney

John Miller, Staff Writer

With the regular season now at an end, the UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team (20-5, 10-4) split its two road games this week with a nail biting 59-58 loss on Feb. 15 vs. No. 11 UW- Oshkosh, and a 68-56 win on Feb. 18 vs. UW-Eau Claire.

The Warhawks earned the No. 2 overall seed in the upcoming WIAC tournament and a first-round bye.

In the first game of the week the Warhawks once again shined on the defensive end, holding the Titans to 34 percent from the field.

The Warhawk offense couldn’t find the team’s stride though, as they committed 18 turnovers and shot 40.4 percent from the field.

Junior guard Malia Smith led the way with 14 points and six rebounds. Smith also contributed defensively with three steals.

Sophomore forward Olivia Freckmann finished one rebound shy of a double-double,
putting up 10 points and
nine rebounds.

The back and forth battle between the Warhawks and Titans ended with the Warhawks down one with the ball and the chance to win, but were unable to get a shot off when the Titans got a timely turnover.

The Warhawks limped out of the gate in their second game of the week, falling behind 9-2 early.

UW-W responded with two threes and a jumper to quickly reclaim the lead with 4:08 in the first quarter.

Both teams took turns reclaiming the lead from one another throughout the game, but the breakthrough run came for the Warhawks in the third and fourth quarter when the team went on an 11-0 run to take a
54-43 lead.

With the field goal percentages and turnovers nearly identical for both teams, the Warhawks found their edge on the glass. The Warhawks out rebounded the Blugolds by 15 and snatched 13 offensive rebounds.

Head coach Keri Carollo liked the effort she saw from her team.

“I just wanted them to continue to work hard and try to help their teammates out by getting second shots,” Carollo said. “They did a good job of that tonight.”

Junior guard Brooke Trewyn netted 22 points, with four of her six made field goals coming from beyond the arc. After a tough stretch of games, Trewyn put it together vs. UW-EC for her seventh 20-plus point game this season.

“It’s been awhile since I’ve actually seen the ball go through the basket for me,” Trewyn said. “I was hitting more of my outside shots, which was good. They fell into a 2-3 zone early, so that’s how we got them out
of that.”

Freckmann got her first double-double of the season with a 14 point, 15 rebound performance, and led the team with three steals.
With the Warhawks’ win Feb. 18 and a UW-Stevens Point loss, the team officially finished second in the WIAC standings and claimed a bye in the WIAC tournament.

The team won’t have a game until Feb.24. After a long and grueling season, the bye provides much needed rest for
the Warhawks.

Trewyn said the team is excited to be able to relax for the next couple of days after Feb. 18’s win, but the team is also looking forward to getting after it in the upcoming practices and hopefully getting a win
Friday night.

Even though the all-important conference tournament is up next for the Warhawks, it doesn’t change the way the team will prepare.

“We prepare the same as we do for any other game,” Carollo said. “We’ll be looking forward to see who we’ll be playing on Friday night.”

The Warhawks will take on the highest remaining seed in a WIAC tournament semifinal matchup on Feb. 24 at home.