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Titans Finish Exhibition With Division I Badgers Strong After Slow Start

Leah Porath scored seven points, collected nine rebounds and recorded two steals against the Division I Badgers.
Leah Porath scored seven points, collected nine rebounds and recorded two steals against the Division I Badgers.

Erin Vande Zande had a team-leading eight points off the bench, Brooklyn Bull, Leah Porath and Isabella Samuels each added seven, and the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team produced scoring runs of nine consecutive points in the first quarter and seven straight in the fourth during a 79-51 exhibition loss to NCAA Division I member University of Wisconsin on Sunday (Nov. 4) at the Kohl Center in Madison.

University of Wisconsin opened the game with a 12-0 advantage until the Titans answered with nine straight points to pull within 12-9 at the 2:28 mark of the first quarter. Vande Zande got UW-Oshkosh on the board with a three-point play with 3:25 to go in the opening period. Katie Ludwig hit a 3-pointer for the Titans on the next possession, and a Porath 3-pointer capped the nine-point run that spanned just 57 seconds.

The Badgers accounted for the last six points of the first period to open up an 18-9 advantage before heading into intermission with a 42-22 lead. University of Wisconsin held its largest lead of 33 points at 75-42 with 5:22 left in the game, but the Titans responded with a 7-0 scoring run that featured layups by Vande Zande and Melanie Schneider, and a 3-pointer from Chloe Pustina.

All 19 Titans in uniform received playing time and 10 scored points. UW-Oshkosh reserves accounted for 29 points and five of the team's seven assists.

Vande Zande shot 3-for-6 from the field and blocked a pair of shots in 13 minutes played. Porath led all players with nine rebounds, including four on the offensive end, to go along with a team-leading two assists and two steals.

Bull went 3-for-5 from the floor and blocked a shot while Samuels pulled down three rebounds and shot 5 of 8 at the free throw line.

Titan reserve Karsyn Rueth chipped in six points. Schneider had five points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

University of Wisconsin concluded the contest shooting 48.3 percent (29-60) from the floor, 46.7 percent (7-15) from 3-point range and 60.9 percent (14-23) at the free throw line. The Badgers owned advantages of 48-35 in rebounds, 19-7 in assists and 11-6 in steals. Both teams committed 15 turnovers and blocked five shots. The Titans allowed University of Wisconsin just 10 second-chance points while scoring seven second-chance points of their own on 10 offensive rebounds.

Marsha Howard had a game-high 16 points for the Badgers, who also received 11 points each from Courtney Hendrickson, Kelly Karlis and Alex Luehring. Karlis collected a team-best eight rebounds, and Niya Beverley dished out five assists.

UW-Oshkosh shot 29 percent (18-62) from the field, 16.7 percent (4-24) from beyond the 3-point arc and 64.7 percent (11-17) at the foul line.

The Titans maintained a single-digit deficit for all but two of the game's opening 15 minutes before Luehring drilled a 3-pointer for a 31-21 University of Wisconsin advantage midway through the second quarter. The Badgers led by at least 10 points the rest of the way.

Trailing 54-26 with 5:41 left in the third period, UW-Oshkosh held the Badgers scoreless for nearly three minutes during a 6-0 scoring run that included layups by Bull, Porath and Rueth. University of Wisconsin missed three straight shots and committed a pair of turnovers before ending the Titans' six-point run on a basket by Grace Mueller with 3:01 to play in the third quarter.

UW-Oshkosh was playing its fourth exhibition game against a Division I opponent in the past 10 years, including a 106-39 setback at University of Wisconsin on Nov. 8, 2009. The Titans also traveled to UW-Green Bay twice, falling to the Phoenix by scores of 61-34 on Nov. 6, 2014, and 79-35 on Oct. 29, 2016.

The Titans begin the 2018-19 regular season by hosting Loras College (Iowa) on Friday (Nov. 9) in Kolf Sports Center.

Photo by Steve Frommell