Titans Stifle Saints For Season-Opening Victory

UW-Oshkosh's defense didn't allow a field goal for 11 minutes in a 54-40 women's basketball victory over Ashford University (Iowa) on Saturday (Nov. 17) in Clinton, Iowa.

During the middle of the first half, the Titans (1-0) forced the Saints (2-3) into eight consecutive missed shots. UW-Oshkosh turned a 7-6 deficit into a 26-11 lead during that span.

Heather Conroy (So. • Wisconsin Dells) posted the first double-double of her career with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Megan Wenig (Sr. • Oshkosh) added 13 points and six assists for the Titans, while Katie Kitzke (Sr. • South Milwaukee) contributed 11 points.

Quinn Rear drained a three-pointer four seconds into the contest to put Ashford University on top. UW-Oshkosh tallied its first four points at the foul line before using Sarah Stecker's (Jr. • Menasha) jumper to go ahead, 6-5. Deana Bledsoe's bucket at the 14:36 mark would be the last field goal for the Saints until 2:55 remained in the half.

Wenig hit two free throws and Kitzke buried a three-point shot to give UW-Oshkosh a 15-7 lead. The Titans attempted 23 foul shots in the opening half, making 17, en route to a 32-15 advantage at the break.

Ashford University crept closer with a 12-2 scoring run to begin the second half. Gaby Ayon hit two jumpers, two free throws and completed a three-point play to pull the Saints within 34-27. Wenig and Alicia Tollefson (So. • Crystal Falls, Mich.) responded with three-pointers to put UW-Oshkosh on top, 42-27, with 10 minutes to go.

The margin remained in double digits for the rest of the way. When Conroy made an inside shot with 5:52 remaining, UW-Oshkosh had its largest lead at 48-30.

UW-Oshkosh shot 36 percent (14-39) from the field, but made 38 percent (3-8) of its three-point attempts. The Titans owned 23-of-32 shooting (72 percent) from the free throw line. UW-Oshkosh won the rebounding (40-28) and turnover (12-13) categories.

Jessica Mlachnik paced the Saints with 10 points and seven rebounds. Bledsoe totaled seven points and seven boards, while Ayon added nine points.

Ashford University was held to 27 percent (12-45) shooting from the field. The Saints made only one of their 13 three-point shots (7 percent). Ashford University drained 15-of-22 free throws (68 percent).

UW-Oshkosh, which won its season opener for the 30th time in 39 years, hosts Ripon College on Tuesday (Nov. 20) in Kolf Sports Center.