Women’s Basketball: ‘Hawks win eighth straight, looking forward to WIAC Tournament

 

By Andrea Sidlauskas

 

After clinching the No.1 seed in the WIAC tournament Wednesday, the UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team defeated UW-River Falls in their last conference game of the season Saturday in the Kachel Gym of the Williams Center in Whitewater.

The Warhawks took an early 6-2 lead in the first half, two minutes into the game. The UW-River Falls Falcons answered by grasping their first lead four minutes into the first half. For the remainder of the half, neither team was able to successfully gain the advantage over the other, as there were seven ties and four lead changes.

The game was either tied or lead by the Falcons by one or two points throughout, until an 8-2 run tied the score at 20-20 with 8:46 left in the first half. UW-River Falls responded with two consecutive baskets, leading the ’Hawks 26-22. The half was capped off with an 8-3 run by the ’Hawks, which gave them the advantage for the first time since the opening two minutes.

The team shot 43 percent from the field and 56 percent from the free throw line at the half in comparison to the Falcons’ 48 percent from the floor and 90 percent from the free throw line. Amy Mandrell led the ’Hawks with eight points, as Tess Lueders led UW-River Falls with eight points as well.

The Falcons started the second half with a 14-7 run over the ’Hawks, which put the Falcons ahead by nine points with 12:17 remaining in the first half. The ’Hawks were able to answer back over the next six minutes, tying the score at 54-54 with 6:17 left to play.

Sam Quandt’s three-pointer added to the ’Hawks’ seven-point lead with 1:47 left in the second half, which proved to be the final blow to the Falcons as the ’Hawks went on to win 66-60.

The Falcons managed to shoot 44 percent from the field as opposed to the ’Hawks’ 40 percent. The ’Hawks were able to out-rebound UW-River Falls 38 to 31. Senior Cortney Kumerow and junior point guard Kaitlyn Thill led the ’Hawks in scoring with 12 points each.

“Its’ just a confidence booster going into the tournament,” freshman Lisa Palmer said. “We won eight in a row for the first time in school history and it’s what we needed to go into the WIAC tournament.”

UW-W finished the regular season with a 20-5 record, including the WIAC title, going 13-2 in conference play, and will host a WIAC Tournament semifinal game at 7 p.m. Friday in Whitewater. If the ’Hawks win Friday, the WIAC Tournament Championship game will be at 2 p.m. Sunday in Whitewater.