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Titans Earn Share Of Second Place In WIAC Race

Eliza Campbell scored 16 points, including 12 in the second half, and grabbed nine rebounds against the Blue Devils.
Eliza Campbell scored 16 points, including 12 in the second half, and grabbed nine rebounds against the Blue Devils.

Eliza Campbell had 16 points and nine rebounds to lift the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team to a 71-55 win over UW-Stout during the regular season finale on Saturday (Feb. 17) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh (19-5, 9-5 WIAC), ranked 19th in the NCAA Division III by, led for the final 34 minutes on the way to its fourth straight win over UW-Stout and 11th in the last 12 meetings. The Titans collected 10 offensive rebounds during the third quarter and entered the final period with a 50-34 advantage on the scoreboard.

The Titans finished in a tie for second place in the conference standings with UW-Eau Claire (17-8, 9-5 WIAC) and UW-La Crosse (16-9, 9-5). UW-Oshkosh has now ranked among the top two teams in the WIAC standings for six consecutive seasons.

UW-La Crosse earned the second seed for the upcoming six-team WIAC Championship while UW-Oshkosh will be seeded third and UW-Eau Claire fourth by virtue of league tiebreaking procedures.

UW-Oshkosh opens the championship by hosting sixth-seeded UW-River Falls (16-9, 7-7 WIAC) on Tuesday (Feb. 20). UW-Eau Claire hosts fifth-seeded UW-Stevens Point (14-11, 8-6 WIAC) in Tuesday's other first round game.

Top-seeded UW-Whitewater (22-3, 12-2 WIAC) and UW-La Crosse received first round byes and will host semifinal contests on Thursday (Feb. 22).

The winner of the WIAC Championship, which will be determined next Saturday (Feb. 24), gains the league's automatic berth to the 64-team NCAA Division III Championship that begins March 2.

Campbell shot 6-for-12 from the field and 4-for-4 at the free throw line against the Blue Devils en route to leading the Titans in scoring for the 11th time this season, including 10 of the last 15 games.

Madeline Staples had a season-high 13 points in 18 minutes off the UW-Oshkosh bench.

UW-Oshkosh's Chloe Pustina matched her season high with 11 points, tied her career best with five assists and registered a career-high four steals.

Isabella Samuels and reserve Karsyn Rueth added 10 and eight points, respectively, as the Titans had four double-digit scorers for the sixth time this season.

UW-Oshkosh reserves combined for 32 points and 18 rebounds while UW-Stout's bench contributed four points and six boards.

UW-Stout (7-18, 0-14 WIAC), which has lost 18 consecutive league games, outshot the Titans .468 to .400 from the field, .250 to .176 from 3-point range and .800 to .706 at the foul line, but UW-Oshkosh held considerable advantages in rebounds (42-28), assists (12-7), steals (7-4) and turnovers (15-10). The Titans recorded 21 offensive rebounds.

UW-Oshkosh went into the game leading the country with 10.7 turnovers per game and ranked fourth nationally with a 1.33 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Titans were also leading the WIAC in scoring (71.7), scoring defense (50.0), field goal percentage (.443), 3-point percentage (.348) and average rebounding margin (+8.5).

The Titans have scored at least 70 points 14 times this season and limited their opponents to 60 or fewer points on 20 occasions.

UW-Oshkosh held a 13-10 lead after one quarter before scoring the first 10 points of the second period to increase its lead to 23-10. UW-Stout answered with nine straight points to cut its deficit to 23-19, but the Titans went to intermission with a 30-23 advantage.

The Titans increased their lead to 42-29 on three-point play from Rueth with 5:25 remaining in the third quarter, and UW-Oshkosh led by at least 12 points the rest of the way.

UW-Oshkosh built its largest lead of 18 points at 52-34 following a pair of free throws by Campbell with 9:28 left in the fourth quarter.

UW-Stout's Kyncaide Diedrich, who entered the game third in the WIAC at 15.5 points per game, scored all of her game-high 28 points after the first quarter. She added a team-best six rebounds and three assists while shooting shot 10-for-19 from the field, including 10-for-16 over the final three periods.

Amber Fabeck chipped in 12 points, five rebounds and a game-best five blocks for the Blue Devils.

UW-Oshkosh won this season's first meeting with UW-Stout by a 67-47 score on Jan. 10 in Menomonie.