Balanced Titans Run Past Cardinals

Sarah Stecker made 6-of-7 shots for 14 points
Sarah Stecker made 6-of-7 shots for 14 points

UW-Oshkosh posted its highest score in eight years during a 95-75 victory over the North Central College (Ill.) women's basketball team on Thursday (Dec. 20) in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Titans (8-2) tallied 58 points during the first half and never trailed in the contest. Five players scored at least 14 points, including 15 points with seven rebounds from Megan Wenig (Sr. • Oshkosh). Heather Conroy (So. • Wisconsin Dells) compiled 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Katelyn Kuehl (So. • Fond du Lac) counted 14 points and a career-high eight assists.

In the first five minutes, UW-Oshkosh opened up a 14-3 lead. While North Central College shot 1-of-8 from the field, Sarah Stecker (Jr. • Menasha) made three inside buckets. Katie Kitzke (Sr. • South Milwaukee), who also scored 14 points, finished off a three-point play to make it 20-11.

Emily Murphy's jumper at the 6:30 mark pulled North Central College within 33-22. Kitzke dropped in two free throws and a lay-up before Wenig's three-point basket gave the Titans a 44-26 cushion. UW-Oshkosh took a 58-39 lead to the break.

The margin stretched to 72-47 after Wenig's jumper in the second half. North Central College then went on a 13-2 run that featured three-pointers from three different players. The closest the Cardinals would get was 74-60 with 12:10 remaining.

Stecker, who totaled 14 points, made consecutive baskets to give the Titans an 89-65 lead. The speed slowed during the closing minutes as UW-Oshkosh won its fourth straight game by 14+ points.

UW-Oshkosh shot 54.5 percent (36-66) from the field and won the game despite committing 30 turnovers. The Titans launched just five three-point shots, making two (40 percent), along with 21-of-31 success at the foul line (67.7 percent). UW-Oshkosh captured the rebounding battle by a 57-31 tally.

North Central College did not have anyone play more than 18 minutes. Murphy topped the squad with 12 points, six rebounds and three steals. Larynn Shumaker also tallied 12 points and six boards, to go with 10 points from Maryssa Cladis and four assists by Bobbi Johns.

The Cardinals (6-4) play a fast-paced style, averaging 90 points per game. They launched 74 shots total, making 27 for 36.5-percent accuracy. North Central College turned the ball over 24 times, as it shot 31.3 percent (10-32) from long range and 61.1 percent on free throws (11-18).

UW-Oshkosh's last game with this many points was a 98-point output against Concordia University Wisconsin during the 2004-05 campaign.

The Titans take on Adrian College (Mich.) in Las Vegas on Friday (Dec. 21).