Titans Lose Overtime Decision To Warhawks

Nikki Arneson scored a career-high 28 points against the Warhawks with the help of five 3-point baskets.
Nikki Arneson scored a career-high 28 points against the Warhawks with the help of five 3-point baskets.

UW-Whitewater came back for a 78-70 overtime win over the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team despite 51 combined points from Titans Nikki Arneson and Isabella Samuels on Monday (Feb. 4) in Whitewater.

UW-Whitewater (14-7, 7-3 WIAC) forced overtime by scoring six unanswered points during the final 2:47 of the fourth quarter. After a jumper by UW-Whitewater's Camri Conley tied the score at 63 with 36 seconds remaining in regulation, the teams exchanged missed 3-pointers during the last seven seconds.

The Warhawks regained their first lead since the 4:09 mark of the third quarter when Olivia Freckmann knocked down a jumper for a 65-63 advantage with 4:00 to play in overtime. UW-Whitewater went on to score the first eight points during the extra session before UW-Oshkosh pulled within 71-68 with 61 seconds to go following a layup from Samuels and a three-point play by Arneson.

Conley split two free throws to extend the Warhawk lead to 72-68. Following an errant 3-pointer by UW-Oshkosh, UW-Whitewater's Becky Raeder missed a pair of free throws with 45 seconds left, and Jessie Rabas hit a jumper seven seconds later to cut the Titan deficit to 72-70. However, UW-Whitewater's Emily Schumacher drained two free throws for a 74-70 advantage with 30 seconds to play. UW-Oshkosh then missed a 3-pointer with 20 seconds left, and the Warhawks made each of their last four free throws over the final 17 seconds to preserve the win.

UW-Oshkosh (18-3, 8-2 WIAC), ranked 11th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, now has a one-game lead in the league standings over UW-Whitewater and 25th-ranked UW-La Crosse (18-3, 7-3) with four contests remaining.

The Titans, who fell to 7-1 on the road this season, shot 40 percent (26-55) from the floor, 25 percent (5-20) from 3-point range and 76.5 percent (13-17) at the free throw line.

Arneson and Samuels both had career highs with 28 and 23 points, respectively, for UW-Oshkosh. Arneson shot 10 of 14 from the field, including 5-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc. Samuels, who entered the game with a conference-leading .633 field goal percentage, went 9-for-11 from the floor. Arneson's previous career high was 11 points while Samuels' was 16.

Leah Porath chipped in six points off the UW-Oshkosh bench. Titan starter Olivia Campbell contributed five points and eight rebounds. Rabas tied for the team lead with eight rebounds.

UW-Whitewater, which extended its winning streak to five games, shot 48.3 percent (28-58) from the field, 33.3 percent (5-15) from 3-point range and 65.4 percent (17-26) at the foul line. The Warhawks held advantages of 39-33 in rebounds, 8-2 in steals and 4-1 in blocks. Both teams recorded 13 assists and 14 turnovers.

Emily Schumacher paced the Warhawks with 22 points to go along with eight rebounds.

Sarah Schumacher and Conley had 17 and 16 points, respectively, for UW-Whitewater while Freckmann registered 14 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Arneson and Samuels accounted for each of the Titans' first 14 points as UW-Oshkosh jumped out to a 14-9 lead midway through the first quarter. A Conley jumper provided the Warhawks with their initial lead of the game at 18-16, but Samuels converted a three-point play that gave UW-Oshkosh a 19-18 advantage entering the second period.

UW-Whitewater limited the Titans to just two points during the last eight minutes of the second quarter, and the Warhawks went scoreless over the final 6:45 of the period as UW-Whitewater went into intermission with a 28-26 lead.

Porath rebounded her own missed layup and scored in the lane to give UW-Oshkosh a 35-34 advantage with 3:42 to play in the third quarter. The Titans went on maintain that lead until early in overtime.

UW-Oshkosh led by as many as nine points on two occasions as Campbell made two free throws for a 48-39 advantage with 40 seconds remaining in the third quarter and a three-point play from Arneson extended the Titans' lead to 51-42 at the 9:40 mark of the fourth.

UW-Whitewater closed to within 55-54, but Arneson sank a 3-pointer and Samuels added a layup for a 60-54 Titan advantage with 3:33 left in regulation. Campbell added a three-point play of her own to up UW-Oshkosh's lead to 63-57 at the 2:47 mark of the fourth quarter. The Titans missed their last three field goal attempts and committed a pair of turnovers during the last two minutes of regulation, while Conley hit two jumpers and Freckmann made a pair free throws down the stretch to force overtime.

Six of the previous eight meetings between the teams were decided by five points or fewer. Monday's game marked the first overtime contest in the series since the Warhawks defeated UW-Oshkosh by a 59-53 score on Jan. 30, 1993, in Whitewater. UW-Whitewater also won the prior matchup this season, 49-47, Jan. 16 in Oshkosh.

Monday's contest was originally scheduled to be played last Wednesday (Jan. 30) but was postponed due to extreme low temperatures.

UW-Oshkosh returns home to host UW-Platteville on Wednesday (Feb. 6) in Kolf Sports Center. The Titans won, 63-45, at UW-Platteville on Jan. 2.

Photo by Jim Lund