Women’s hoops team falls in tourney

Tyler Job, Staff Writer

The UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team could not get through the first round of the NCAA Tournament and lost to No. 18 Hope College (Michigan), 78-71, on March 3 at Thomas More College in Kentucky.

The Warhawks never led against the Flying Dutchmen.

UW-W got off to perhaps its most sluggish start all season in the first quarter, by making just two of its first 17 shots (11.8 percent) and scoring just five points. Hope led by 10 after one.

After the first quarter, it looked as if there was little to no hope – no pun intended – for the Warhawks to make any surge.

But junior guard Brooke Trewyn finally got things brewing for the Warhawks in the second quarter after sending home back-to-back three-pointers.

Senior guard Reilly Stewart then splashed a three to bring the ’Hawks within 23-16 with over seven minutes left in the half.

At that point, maybe there was some hope for the WIAC tournament champions after all.

The Flying Dutchmen would keep rolling on offense, but the Warhawks, knowing it would be too late if they kept going empty, tried scoring on every opportunity they had.

It was a big reason why UW-W scored 27 points in the second quarter alone – the Warhawks’ largest offensive frame all game – and the squad trailed by nine, 41-32, at halftime.

The Warhawks received some more help in the third quarter thanks to junior guard Malia Smith’s thunderous frame – she hit four three-pointers – and UW-W was down just six, 60-54, heading into the final quarter.

UW-W’s abysmal 25 percent three point shooting from the start of the contest suddenly flipped to 43.8 percent once Smith
started rolling..

The Flying Dutchmen tried to answer every key shot to keep themselves distant from the steaming Warhawks, but UW-W knew it was in for a fight.

The fourth quarter was evenly matched. Hope College would score, and UW-W would answer. The Flying Dutchmen would turn it over, and the Warhawks would take advantage, and vice versa.

UW-W trimmed the lead to 68-64 mid-way through the frame after Stewart stole and lobbed the ball to Smith for an easy lay-in.

Sophomore center Becky Deichl brought UW-W within 4 again, 73-69, on a pair of free throws with just under two minutes
in regulation.

Down 75-69 with just 42 seconds left, the Warhawks inbounded and had a chance to keep its tournament dreams alive. But sophomore forward Olivia Freckmann missed a key lay-up, and at the snap of a finger, UW-W’s journey came to
a halt.

At that point, the WIAC tournament champions just ran out
of fuel.

A few free-throws made by each team later, and the game was history. Despite a gritty effort, the Warhawks fell 78-71.

It was not the result UW-W desired, but losses are a part of the game and that was the unfortunate reality hit the players as they walked off the court.

UW-W for the game shot 37.9 percent from the field, and 36.8 percent from downtown.

Despite making only 27.8 percent of its three balls, Hope College’s 50 percent field goal shooting proved to be the ultimate
difference maker.

Trewyn led all scorers with 20 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists, which was her seventh and final double-double of the season. Smith finished with 19 points, while Freckmann added 12. Smith went four-of-six on threes.

In her final game ever, Stewart tallied eight points.

Despite the frustrating early exit, the Warhawks concluded its season with what some would say a rather satisfying 22-6
overall record.

By the start of next season, the Warhawks will have lost Stewart and fellow senior guard Andrea Olsen. Both athletes were part of the 2014 Final Four team, as well as a WIAC conference and WIAC tournament championship team.