Titan Defense Shuts Down Eagles

A 16-2 run during crunch time gave the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team a 57-45 victory at UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Jan. 5).

The Eagles (7-7/1-4 WIAC) held a 38-36 lead with nine minutes left before the Titans (12-2/4-1 WIAC) took over for their eighth consecutive win. UW-Oshkosh leads the league in both scoring defense (50 points) and shooting defense (35 percent), and it held UW-La Crosse to 30 percent shooting for the day (14-47).

Megan Wenig (Sr. • Oshkosh), who topped all players with 18 points, hit a jumper to put the Titans ahead 39-38. After lay-ups from Ashley Winterfeldt (Sr. • Hortonville) and Katelyn Kuehl (So. • Fond du Lac), Wenig tallied eight straight points. Her five free throws extended the margin to 53-41 with 1:25 remaining.

Katie Kitzke (Sr. • South Milwaukee) was next in line with her 14-point, four-steal performance. The Titans owned the rebounding category, 41-25, thanks to 11 by Kuehl and eight by Heather Conroy (So. • Wisconsin Dells).

UW-La Crosse led for the majority of the first half after a pair of three-pointers from Trisha Van Dusseldorp. Her second deep conversion put the Eagles ahead, 13-7, eight minutes into the game.

Wenig knocked down two jumpers near the seven-minute mark to put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 16-15. The halftime score was then tied at 22 following a late triple by Kitzke.

The contest remained close early in the second frame, as Erin Levenhagen sank a bucket to put the Eagles ahead 27-24. Kitzke drained a three-pointer to put the Titans back on top, but Briana Radowicz responded from downtown for a 33-32 UW-La Crosse lead with 12:16 on the clock.

Levenhagen, the WIAC's block leader with 21, topped the Eagles with 12 points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Maggi Bishop counted 12 points and six boards.

UW-La Crosse hit 12 of its 16 foul shots (75 percent), but connected on just 5-of-19 three-pointers (26 percent).

The Titans posted 38 percent shooting (18-47) from the field, 40 percent (4-10) from long range and 68 percent on free throws (17-25). Of its 29 missed shots, UW-Oshkosh totaled 17 offensive rebounds.

UW-Oshkosh, which is 7-2 on the road, visits UW-Eau Claire on Wednesday (Jan. 9).