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Titans Successful In Season Debut

Melanie Schneider tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists against the Duhawks.
Melanie Schneider tallied 12 points, nine rebounds and five assists against the Duhawks.

Isabella Samuels paced 11 Titan scorers with 15 points as the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team led wire to wire in an 83-75 victory over Loras College (Iowa) during the season opener for both teams Friday (Nov. 9) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh (1-0) scored on its first three possessions of the game and maintained a double-digit lead for all but six minutes of the contest. The Titans extended their advantage to 15-4 at the 4:37 mark of the opening quarter and owned their largest lead of 21 points at 67-46 with 9:11 left in the final period.

Loras College (0-1) cut its deficit to 76-68 with 72 seconds remaining, but UW-Oshkosh reclaimed 10-point leads following a pair of free throws from both Melanie Schneider and Brooke Freitag over the final 30 seconds.

The Titans, who earned their fourth straight victory over the Duhawks, have won nine consecutive season openers.

Samuels shot 7-for-8 from the field on the way to her 20th career double-digit scoring effort.

Schneider and Brooklyn Bull scored 12 points apiece for the Titans, who also received 11 points from Chloe Pustina. UW-Oshkosh has had four double-digit scorers during four of its last 11 games dating back to last season.

Schneider also collected a team-leading nine rebounds, dished out five assists and registered two steals.

UW-Oshkosh's Olivia Campbell had eight points, six rebounds and a team-best six assists while Leah Porath chipped in six points, six rebounds and a pair of assists.

Bull knocked down two 3-point shots and each of her four free throw attempts off the Titan bench. Freitag added eight points, including a pair of 3-pointers, in a reserve role.

UW-Oshkosh owned a 44-29 rebounding advantage, including 15-10 on the offensive end, and held a 19-17 edge in assists. The Titans shot 45.9 percent (28-61) from the floor, 37.5 percent (9-24) from 3-point range and 81.8 percent (18-22) at the free throw line.

Loras College concluded the game with advantages in turnovers (16-14), blocks (6-4) and steals (9-6) while shooting 41.7 percent (25-60) from the field, 47.8 percent (11-23) from beyond the 3-point arc and 70 percent (14-20) at the foul line. The Duhawks hit six of their seven 3-point attempts during the fourth quarter on the way to outscoring the Titans, 29-19, in the period.

The Duhawks' Macenzie Kraemer led all players with 17 points and four steals. She shot 5 of 11 from the floor, including 3-for-6 from 3-point range.

Marissa Schroeder added 15 points to go along with a team-high nine rebounds and five assists for Loras College while Riley Eckhart and Kari Fitzpatrick chipped in 11 points apiece.

UW-Oshkosh got out to a 4-0 lead following layups from Samuels and Schneider during the opening 64 seconds. A string of eight unanswered Titan points gave UW-Oshkosh a 15-4 lead midway through the first quarter.

A layup by Erin Vande Zande upped UW-Oshkosh advantage's to 17-7 with 1:57 left in the first quarter, and the Titans went on to lead by at least 10 points until the 1:40 mark of the final period.

UW-Oshkosh outshot the Duhawks, 46.7 to 20 percent from the field, during the first quarter as the Titans went 7-for-15 and held Loras College to 3-for-15.

The Titans increased their lead to 33-17 on a 3-pointer from Bull with 99 seconds left in the second quarter, but Loras College responded with the final six points of the half to trim its deficit to 33-23 at intermission.

A 3-pointer by reserve Emily Miller gave the Titans a 46-29 lead with just under six minutes to play in the third quarter, and UW-Oshkosh entered the final period with a 64-46 advantage. Eight different Titans scored at least two points in the third quarter as they combined to shoot 10 of 16 (62.5 percent) from the floor, including 5-for-7 (71.4 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Campbell, Freitag, Miller and Karsyn Rueth each hit 3-pointers as UW-Oshkosh tallied 31 points during the period.

UW-Oshkosh's 31-point output in the third quarter was its highest scoring period in the 34 games since erupting for 35 points during the fourth quarter against UW-Whitewater on Feb. 27, 2017.

A three-point play from Samuels off an assist by Nikki Arneson provided the Titans their largest lead of the night at 67-46. Loras College responded with a 16-3 scoring run – highlighted by six points from Kraemer and five from Eckhart – to pull within 70-62 with 3:56 left.

Bull then scored four points on a layup and two additional free throws after a dead-ball foul on the Duhawks immediately following Bull's basket in the lane, extending the UW-Oshkosh advantage to 74-62 with 2:53 remaining. The Titans went on to lead by at least eight points the rest of the way.

UW-Oshkosh is off until playing The College of St. Scholastica (Minn.) on Nov. 16 in Eau Claire.

Written by Ally Gwidt, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information

Photo by Steve Frommell