The nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team commences the 2017-18 season with a pair of games at the Main View Tipoff Tournament next weekend (Nov. 17-18) in Manchester, Ind.
UW-Oshkosh (26-4 record in 2016-17) will conduct its season opener on Nov. 17 against Otterbein University (Ohio) (11-15). The Titans conclude their trip to Indiana on Nov. 18 against Manchester University (Ind.) (9-16) or Ohio Wesleyan University (12-14).
UW-Oshkosh begins its eight-game home schedule against Edgewood College (0-25) on Nov. 21 in Kolf Sports Center.
The Titans will also host a contest against Carroll University (1-23) on Dec. 30 in the newly constructed Menominee Nation Arena, Oshkosh's home of the National Basketball Association G League's Wisconsin Herd.
The defending WIAC champion Titans head into the season ranked 11th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com. Last season UW-Oshkosh secured its first outright WIAC title since 1999 before advancing to the third round of the NCAA postseason for the second time in four years. UW-Oshkosh is one of eight programs to win at least one game during each of the past four Division III Championships. The Titans also reached the second round of the national tournament in 2015 and 2016.
Other non-conference highlights of the UW-Oshkosh schedule include a trip to Raleigh, North Carolina, and a continuation of its rivalry with St. Norbert College.
UW-Oshkosh and St. Norbert College (20-6 in 2016-17), who will meet for the 17th time in 18 seasons, are set to battle Nov. 29 in De Pere. The Titans won last year's matchup, 54-32, in Oshkosh and own a 20-13 record against the Green Knights. St. Norbert College went on to make its fourth straight NCAA Division III Championship appearance after winning last year's Midwest Conference Tournament.
The Titans will travel to play North Carolina programs Meredith College (4-20) on Dec. 16 and Methodist University (7-19) on Dec. 17.
UW-Oshkosh also journeys to La Crosse for games against Viterbo University (3-28) on Nov. 25 and Luther College (Iowa) on Nov. 26. Luther College (17-10) finished second in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference last season before falling in the final game of the league's postseason tournament.
The Titans' remaining non-conference contest is a road game at Finlandia University (Mich.) (8-15) on Dec. 2.
UW-Oshkosh begins its 14-game WIAC schedule at UW-Whitewater (22-6) on Jan. 3 before returning home to face UW-La Crosse (16-11) on Jan. 6.
The Titans host league contests against UW-Platteville (6-19) on Jan. 17, UW-Eau Claire (13-13) on Jan. 20, UW-River Falls (9-18) on Jan. 27, UW-Whitewater on Feb. 7. UW-Stevens Point (17-9) on Feb. 14 and UW-Stout (7-18) in the regular season finale on Feb. 17.
Rounding out UW-Oshkosh's WIAC schedule are road games at UW-Stout on Jan. 10, UW-River Falls on Jan. 13, UW-Stevens Point on Jan. 24, UW-Platteville on Jan. 31, UW-Eau Claire on Feb. 3 and UW-La Crosse on Feb. 10.
The WIAC Championship begins with opening round action on Feb. 20, continues with semifinal games on Nov. 22 and concludes with the final on Feb. 24.
UW-Oshkosh secured last year's WIAC regular-season title with a 13-1 record. The championship was the 12th for the Titans.
UW-Oshkosh was followed in the league standings by second-place UW-Whitewater with a 10-4 record, third-place UW-La Crosse and UW-Stevens Point at 9-5, fifth-place UW-Eau Claire at 7-7, sixth-place UW-River Falls and UW-Stout at 3-11 and eighth-place UW-Platteville at 2-12.
UW-Whitewater went on to claim its first WIAC tournament title with a 65-56 win over UW-Oshkosh in the championship game. The win gave UW-Whitewater the league's automatic berth to the NCAA postseason.
UW-Oshkosh claimed an at-large berth to last year's NCAA Division III Championship and reached the third round with home victories of 63-55 over Calvin College (Mich.) and 64-49 over DePauw University (Ind.). The Titans then suffered a 68-56 setback at Washington University in St. Louis (Mo.).
The Titans ended last season ranked ninth in the country by D3hoops.com. UW-Oshkosh listed second nationally by committing just 11.8 turnovers per game a year ago.
UW-Oshkosh returns a pair of starters among 11 letter winners for sixth-year head coach Brad Fischer, the 2017 WIAC Coach of the Year.
Senior forward Eliza Campbell, a two-time All-WIAC first team selection, headlines the UW-Oshkosh returning players after ranking second on the team with 10.8 points and 5.2 rebound per game a year ago.
Also back for UW-Oshkosh are senior starting guard Emma Melotik, sophomore guard Olivia Campbell, senior guard Jaimee Pitt, junior guard Chloe Pustina, junior forward Isabella Samuels and senior forward Madeline Staples.
Melotik, Olivia Campbell and Pustina each played in all of UW-Oshkosh's games last year while Pitt, Samuels and Staples averaged more than 10 minutes per contest a year ago.