UW-W women paced by defense

Jack Miller, Assistant Sports Editor

From broken records and double-digit winning streaks to game-winning buzzer beaters, the months of December and January have been a busy time for the No.14 UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team (14-2, 4-1).

Early in December senior guard Brooke Trewyn scored her 1000th career point in a 64-32 victory over the Milwaukee School of Engineering Dec. 12 in Whitewater. The win kept UW-W’s then-perfect season going at 7-0.

Six days later the Warhawks kicked off the Cruzin’ Classic with a 68-47 win against Eastern Connecticut State in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

The Warhawks shot just 29.7 percent from the field but forced over 25 Eastern Connecticut State turnovers and out-rebounded the Warriors 26-3 on the offensive glass.

Senior guard Malia Smith led the Warhawks in points and steals, with 16 and four, respectively.

In the second and final game of the Cruzin’ Classic, the Warhawks once again used a strong defensive effort to overcome their offensive struggles and earned a 53-41 victory over Central College (Iowa) Dec.19.

UW-W shot 16 of 67 from the field while forcing Central to commit 23 turnovers and outpaced the Dutch 19-9 in offensive rebounds.

After a 10-day break, the Warhawks began the Wartburg Tournament Dec.29 in Waverly, Iowa.

In the first game of the tournament, the Warhawks outlasted the then No.17 Gustavus Adolphus 68-60 to extend their winning streak to ten games.

The well-rested Warhawks came out of the gate firing on all cylinders.

The Warhawks outscored Gustavus Adolphus 42 to 23 in the first half.

Despite Gustavus Adolphus inching within two points at 59-57, the Warhawks put the game away at the charity stripe, sinking nine free throws in the final two minutes.

The next day UW-W’s winning ways finally came to an end in the tournaments’ championship game. The team was defeated 64-55 against tournament host and then No.4 Wartburg College.

With the Warhawks up 48-47 early in the fourth, Wartburg went on a 13-1 run to take a 60-49 lead with less than two minutes left in the game to seal the victory.

In maybe the most profound game of the year, the Warhawks opened WIAC play with a nail-biting 54-52 win over then No.3 UW-Oshkosh Jan.3 at Kachel Gymnasium.

With 3.8 seconds left and the game knotted at 52-52, sophomore guard Camri Coney drilled a baseline jumper from the right side as time expired. The victory not only gave the Titans their first loss of the year; it also gave Warhawks’ head coach Keri Carollo her 300th victory as a coach.

Three days later the tables were turned at UW-River Falls as the Warhawks fell 51-48 when Falcons’ senior guard Brynn Lijander made a three pointer as time expired.

Senior forward Andrea Meinert tallied 23 points in the loss.

The Warhawks picked up their second conference win in a dominant 86-61 victory over UW-Eau Claire Jan.10 at Kachel Gymnasium. The victory put UW-W at 12-2 overall and 2-1 in conference.

Smith posted a season high 23 points to go along with three steals. Sophomore guard Becky Raeder recorded 17 points off the bench.

In the Warhawks next two games, the team captured a pair of road victories over conference foes. The first was a 76-67 victory over UW-Stout,  Jan.13, and the second a 67-43 triumph over UW-Stevens Point, Jan.17.

In the game against the Pointers, junior forward Olivia Freckmann put up a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

UW-W dropped their second conference game 66-62 versus UW-La Crosse Jan.20 at Kachel Gymnasium.

“We obviously fouled too much, and they got a lot of free throws,” Carollo said. “We didn’t shoot the ball as well as we should have or could have. It’s disappointing; I feel like we’re the better team and we just didn’t execute like were capable of.”

The Warhawks trailed 53-45 with 6:04 left in the game, but went on a 12-2 surge to take the lead with 2:23 remaining. The Falcons snatched the lead back with 1:10 after a made three and never looked back.

“I don’t think we executed defensively down the stretch,” said Trewyn, who dropped a season-high 23 points. “We didn’t play discipline defense like we know we could have.”

The Falcons scored 40 points in the second half, compared to their 22 points in the first half.

“Down the stretch we just had a drought period where we couldn’t score baskets, that really hurt us,” Smith said.

The Warhawks scored just six points in the final 3:20 of the game.

Upcoming for the Warhawks is a conference showdown against UW-Platteville Jan.24 in Platteville.