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Titans' Vigorous Fourth-Quarter Rally Falls Short

Jessie Rabas came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points against the Flying Dutch.
Jessie Rabas came off the bench to score a season-high 15 points against the Flying Dutch.

A spirited fourth-quarter rally by UW-Oshkosh fell short as Hope College (Mich.) survived with a 63-57 victory in a nationally ranked women's basketball contest held Friday (Dec. 28) in Delaware, Ohio.

Hope College (10-1), ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, will now play host Ohio Wesleyan University (8-3) on Saturday (Dec. 29) in the championship game of the Bishop Classic/Hoops For Hope Tournament while 19th-ranked UW-Oshkosh (9-1) plays Penn State Altoona (3-6) in Saturday's consolation contest. Ohio Wesleyan University defeated Penn State Altoona, 88-64, in Friday's tournament opener.

UW-Oshkosh entered its final quarter against Hope College trailing, 46-28, before staging a 26-8 scoring run to tie the game at 54 on Emily Miller's 3-pointer with 2:24 remaining. Kenedy Schoonveld gave Hope College back the lead for good with two free throws on the ensuing possession and converted four more free throws in the final five seconds to secure her team's victory for good.

Hope College, which outscored UW-Oshkosh, 22-8, at the free throw line, has won 89 of its last 99 games while the Titans suffered just their 11th loss in 67 contests.  Hope College advanced to the quarterfinal round of last year's NCAA Division III Championship.

Jessie Rabas scored a season-high 15 points and served as UW-Oshkosh's only double-digit scorer. She also tallied six rebounds and an assist.

Chloe Pustina, Leah Porath and Melanie Schneider had seven points apiece for the Titans while Karsyn Rueth had six points, a pair of rebounds and one assist. Pustina and Schneider also owned three assists each.

Reserve Erin Vande Zande had a team-leading seven rebounds and two points for UW-Oshkosh while Olivia Campbell contributed four points and five rebounds.

The Titans shot 37.7 percent (20-53) from the field after shooting just 11.1 percent (1-9) in the second quarter. UW-Oshkosh was 9-for-24 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range and 8-for-15 (53.3 percent) at the free throw line. The Titans made seven of their 10 3-point shots during the fourth quarter.

UW-Oshkosh owned advantages over Hope College in rebounds (33-31), assists (13-10) and bench points (26-7). The Flying Dutch forced 23 Titan turnovers while committing 17 of their own.

Hope College had shooting percentages of 42.2 (19-45) from the field, 27.3 (3-11) behind the 3-point arc and 66.7 (22-33) at the free throw stripe.

The Flying Dutch had four double-digit scoring efforts with Francesca Buchanan recording a team-leading 18 points, Schoonveld and Jenny Beckman 11 apiece and Sydney Muller 10.

UW-Oshkosh held its largest lead of three points (13-10) with 2:37 to go in the first quarter and led 15-14 after the opening period. Hope College took a 31-18 halftime lead after putting together a 17-3 scoring run during the second quarter.

The Titans then fell behind 46-25 with 1:14 left in the third period before rallying back to tie the score at 54.

The game featured two of the top scoring defenses in the country as UW-Oshkosh ranked fifth in Division III by allowing 44.8 points per game and Hope College 25th at 50.8.

Written by Ally Gwidt, UW-Oshkosh Sports Information