Women’s basketball heating up in WIAC

Ethan Maurice, Staff Reporter

After a slow start to conference play, the Warhawk women’s basketball team has taken off on a four-game winning streak by beating UW-Platteville and No. 22 UW-La Crosse this past week.

Sophomore guard Emily Schumacher led from the front, averaging 16.5 points this week.

The Warhawks took down UW-Platteville Jan. 23 by a score of 71-55.  [Emily] Schumacher led all scorers with 19 points, and senior forward Olivia Freckmann registered her 5th double-double of the season with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Whitewater started slowly and were flustered by Platteville’s zone defense in the first quarter.

“We didn’t make any adjustments,” head coach Keri Carollo said. “We needed to take care of the ball better, and once we did that, I think we found our rhythm.”

At the end of the first half, the Warhawks had a six-point lead.

[Emily] Schumacher had five made 3-pointers in the game, and her backcourt partner in junior guard Becky Raeder made three triples of her own.

“Becky has done a great job for us,” said Carollo. “She’s our calming effect when teams try to pressure us. She has a great basketball IQ, so she’s able to read what’s happening out there defensively.”

The Warhawks shot 40 percent from 3-point range, and Platteville couldn’t keep up. With 3:45 left in the third quarter, the Warhawks went on a 16-3 run, which effectively sealed the game.

As time ticked down in the fourth quarter, Carollo brought on her bench players. Junior guard Sydney Smith and and freshman guard Yssa Sto. Domingo both recorded baskets, and sophomore forward Nicole Elias made both her free throws, bringing big cheers from the fans and the Whitewater bench.

The win on the road against La Crosse provided a massive boost for the Warhawks, who had lost to the Eagles at home just two weeks ago.

Whitewater opened up a big lead in the second quarter, but La Crosse worked its way back into the game in the final period.

After a made layup by Freckmann with 7:24 left in regulation, La Crosse went on an 8-1 run. The Warhawks never relinquished the lead but had to keep getting stops on the defensive end.

Whitewater had a tough time at the free-throw line, but Raeder went 1-2 with about 10 seconds left. Dani Craig tossed up what would be the game winning three on the other end, but the ball bounced out, and the Warhawks escaped with their third win against a nationally ranked opponent on the road.

After the game, Schumacher said she wasn’t worried about road games.

“We know we have to play extra well considering we’re not on our home floor,” Schumacher said.

Raeder noted that the team even finds a little extra in the toughest tests.

“We know that everybody in the gym will be against us, so we know that we have to find energy, motivation and determination within ourselves.”