Isabella Samuels matched her career high with 16 points and added eight rebounds to lead the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team to a 61-49 win at UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Feb. 10).
UW-Oshkosh (18-4, 8-4 WIAC), ranked 18th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, led the entire way after scoring on the game's opening possession. The Titans went on to outscore the Eagles in each quarter as UW-La Crosse was held to less than 50 points for just the fourth time this season.
The Titans, who have won seven of their last eight meetings with the Eagles, avenged a 57-51 loss to UW-La Crosse on Jan. 6 in Oshkosh.
The victory moves UW-Oshkosh into a tie for second place in the league standings with UW-Eau Claire (16-7, 8-4 WIAC) and UW-La Crosse (15-8, 8-4). Seventeenth-ranked UW-Whitewater (20-3, 10-2 WIAC) has clinched at least a share of the conference title with two games remaining.
Samuels, who entered Saturday with a WIAC-leading .638 field goal percentage, shot 8-for-11 from the floor en route to achieving her career-best point total for the fourth time this season.
UW-Oshkosh concluded the game with advantages in field goal percentage (.471 to .351), 3-point percentage (.385 to .235), assists (14-3) and turnovers (10-9). UW-La Crosse held a 35-31 edge in rebounds while both teams amassed six steals and three blocks.
The Titans went into the contest leading the country by committing 10.7 turnovers per game while ranking third nationally with a 1.37 assist-to-turnover ratio. UW-Oshkosh, which limited its 14th opponent to 50 points or fewer this season, also paced the WIAC in scoring (73.1), scoring defense (49.6), field goal percentage (.447), 3-point percentage (.349), and average rebounding (+9.9) and turnover (+6.2) margins.
Campbell made a 3-point shot 21 seconds into the game and back-to-back layups by Melanie Schneider and Staples extended UW-Oshkosh's lead to 13-8 late in the first quarter.
Leading 17-13 after one period, UW-Oshkosh increased its advantage to 22-13 following a layup by Emma Melotik, but UW-La Crosse pulled within 24-23 on a 3-pointer from Delaney Schoenenberger midway through the second quarter.
A jumper by Staples capped the second-quarter scoring as the Titans, who committed just two fouls during the opening half, went into intermission with a 32-27 lead.
UW-Oshkosh broke the game open with nine consecutive points, including six by Samuels, for a 41-29 lead with 5:38 left in the third quarter.
A pair of free throws from Staples gave UW-Oshkosh a 43-32 advantage at the 3:21 mark of the third period, and the Titans maintained a lead of at least 11 points for the remainder of the contest.
UW-Oshkosh owned its largest lead of 19 points at 57-38 after a three-point play by Campbell with 3:09 left in the game.
UW-La Crosse's Elise DeNoyer led all players with 20 points and 10 rebounds for her fifth double-double of the season. Dani Craig and Ava Kramer chipped in nine points apiece for the Eagles.
UW-Oshkosh hosts UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday (Feb. 14) in Kolf Sports Center.