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Titans Win Seventh Straight Game

Chloe Pustina scored 10 points and tallied a pair of assists against the Pioneers.
Chloe Pustina scored 10 points and tallied a pair of assists against the Pioneers.

Eliza Campbell and Isabella Samuels had 12 points and nine rebounds apiece, Chloe Pustina added 10 points and the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team never trailed on the way to defeating UW-Platteville, 65-55, on Wednesday (Jan. 31) in Platteville.

UW-Oshkosh (17-2, 7-2 WIAC), ranked 13th in the NCAA Division III by, claimed the lead for good at 22-20 on a layup from Samuels. The Titans extended their advantage to 32-23 following a free throw by Pustina at the 3:11 mark of the second period and led by at least six points for the remainder of the contest.

The Titans remain tied atop the league standings with 19th-ranked UW-Whitewater (17-3, 7-2 WIAC) with five games remaining.

UW-Oshkosh, which has won 12 straight meetings with the Pioneers, extended its season winning streak to seven games. The Titans won this season's first matchup between the teams, 77-50, on Jan. 17 in Oshkosh.

Melanie Schneider chipped in nine points and four steals off the UW-Oshkosh bench while Titan starters Olivia Campbell and Emma Melotik contributed seven points apiece. Olivia Campbell, who went into the game with a WIAC-best 2.22 assist-to-turnover ratio, registered six rebounds, three assists and four steals.

UW-Oshkosh secured the victory despite deficits in field goal percentage, 3-point percentage, free throw percentage, rebounds, assists and blocks. The Titans owned a 23-10 advantage in turnovers and 15-3 in steals.

UW-Platteville (6-14, 2-7), the top rebounding team in the conference at 41 per game, held advantages of 32-29 on the boards, 17-9 in assists and 8-1 in blocks while outshooting the Titans, .469 to .382 from the field, .357 to .190 from 3-point range, and .667 to .600 at the foul line.

The Pioneers, just the third team to outrebound the Titans this season, produced their second-best field goal percentage of the season, but UW-Oshkosh attempted 68 shots from the floor while UW-Platteville attempted just 49.

The Titans, who have committed 10 or fewer turnovers 12 times this season, went into Wednesday leading the country with 10.2 turnovers per game and a 1.54 assist-to-turnover ratio while listing fourth nationally with a +27.8 average scoring margin and seventh by allowing 47.1 points per game.

UW-Oshkosh, which has held 17 opponents under 60 points this season, also paced the conference in scoring (74.9), scoring defense (47.1), field goal percentage (.456), average rebounding margin (+11.6), 3-pointers (129), 3-point percentage (.366) and blocks (76).

The Titans scored layup on their first three possessions to take a 6-0 lead 64 seconds into the game. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Melotik and Pustina increased the UW-Oshkosh advantage to 12-4 with 4:59 left in the opening quarter on the way to an 18-15 edge entering the second period.

The Pioneers knotted the score at 18 and again at 20, but Samuels' basket in the lane provided the Titans a 22-20 advantage they would not relinquish. UW-Oshkosh scored seven unanswered points, including three from Pustina, to extend its lead to 32-23 late in the second quarter. Pustina scored all of her 10 points during the first half on 4-for-4 shooting from the floor.

After leading, 35-28, at intermission, UW-Oshkosh owned a 51-40 advantage after three quarters and led by as many as 15 points at 57-42 following a layup from Eliza Campbell with 6:13 to play.

UW-Platteville scored nine points in a row to cut its deficit to 57-51 with 2:59 left, but the Titans shot 4-for-6 at the free throw line and received layups from Eliza Campbell and Madeline Staples over the final 2:33.

The Pioneers' Allison Prestegaard led all players with 14 points, nine rebounds and six blocks. She shot 7-for-11 from the floor while increasing her WIAC-leading block total to 59 on the season.

UW-Platteville reserve Maiah Domask added 12 points and five rebounds while Rachel Emendorfer amassed a game-high six assists off the Pioneer bench.

Pioneer starter Kassie Buchholz chipped in 10 points, four rebounds and four assists.

UW-Oshkosh has outscored UW-Platteville by an average of 18.6 points per game during its 12-game streak in the series.

The Titans travel to UW-Eau Claire on Saturday (Feb. 3).