Nationally ranked UW-Whitewater scored the final 10 points to secure the WIAC women's basketball championship with a 58-49 victory over UW-Oshkosh on Wednesday (Feb. 13) in Whitewater. It's the second league title for the Warhawks and sixth overall.
Katie Kitzke (Sr. • South Milwaukee) drained a three-pointer with 1:58 left to give UW-Oshkosh (19-5, 11-4 WIAC) a 49-38 lead. Courtney Kumerow then responded with a lay-up, put-back and free throw to put the Warhawks ahead 54-49 with 40 seconds remaining.
Kumerow scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead UW-Whitewater (19-5, 12-3 WIAC). The Warhawks, ranked 24th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, also received 11 points from Abbie Reeves and seven points, five rebounds and two steals from Megan Theune.
UW-Oshkosh acquired 17 points and eight rebounds from Megan Wenig (Sr. • Oshkosh), 11 points and two rebounds from Katie Kitzke (Sr. • South Milwaukee) and two points, eight rebounds and two steals from Katelyn Kuehl (So. • Fond du Lac).
UW-Whitewater, which has made 73 free throws over the last three games, converted 21-of-23 attempts (91.3 percent) against the Titans. UW-Oshkosh, which ranks second in the NCAA Division III in free throw percentage (78 percent), made 10-of-12 tosses (83.3 percent) from the charity stripe.
The first 3:46 of the contest belonged to the Titans, as they posted a 4-0 lead on a Heather Conroy (So. • Wisconsin Dells) jumper. UW-Whitewater came back with eight unanswered points, including two hoops from Kumerow. A three-pointer by Reeves at the 8:49 mark put the Warhawks in front, 13-8.
Facing a 21-16 deficit, UW-Oshkosh tallied the last 10 points of the first half. Wenig buried back-to-back three-point shots before adding two free throws to give the Titans a 26-21 advantage.
The second period was tight throughout, as Sam Quandt hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 33. Kitzke counted a three-point play to give the Titans a 42-41 lead with 7:24 on the clock. UW-Whitewater then grabbed the momentum with Amy Mandrell's put-back and Kaitlyn Thill's breakaway lay-up.
UW-Oshkosh shot 32.1 percent (17-53) from the field and 33.3 percent (5-15) behind the three-point line. The Titans grabbed 36 rebounds while turning the basketball over 18 times.
UW-Whitewater, which presented head coach Keri Carollo with her 200th victory, shot 31.5 percent (17-54) from the field and 33.3 percent (3-9) behind the three-point arc. The Warhawks collected 40 rebounds and committed 14 turnovers.
UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-Stout on Saturday (Feb. 16). A victory would give the Titans a first-round bye in next week's WIAC Tournament.