Titans Defeat Pioneers To Retain WIAC Lead

Emily Miller tallied five points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals during her 12 minutes of action against the Pioneers.
Emily Miller tallied five points, four rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals during her 12 minutes of action against the Pioneers.

Isabella Samuels led all players with 14 points and Nikki Arneson added 12 as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team stayed atop the WIAC standings with a 65-43 victory over UW-Platteville on Wednesday (Feb. 6) in Kolf Sports Center.

UW-Oshkosh (19-3, 9-2 WIAC), ranked 11th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, withstood a third-quarter scoring run by the Pioneers and led by at least 17 points for the entire final period. UW-Platteville trailed, 38-19, early in the second half but cut its deficit to 39-33 at the 5:10 mark of the third quarter. However, UW-Oshkosh scored 12 of the next 14 points and entered the final quarter with a 52-37 advantage.

The Titans remain a game ahead of 25th-ranked UW-La Crosse (19-3, 8-3 WIAC) and UW-Whitewater (15-7, 8-3) in the conference standings with three contests remaining.

UW-Oshkosh, which earned its 14th consecutive win over the Pioneers, have now held 16 opponents this season to less than 50 points. The Titans' 14 straight wins over UW-Platteville is the longest active streak in the WIAC. UW-Oshkosh also defeated the Pioneers, 63-45, in the WIAC opener Jan. 2 in Platteville.

Samuels, who entered the game as the conference leader with a .656 field goal percentage, went 7-for-9 from the floor on the way to her 27th career double-digit scoring effort.

Arneson, starting for the fourth time this season, shot 5-for-9 from the field and grabbed a career- and game-high eight rebounds.

UW-Oshkosh had 12 scorers, including Brooklyn Bull with nine points and Katie Ludwig, Emily Miller and Erin Vande Zande with five each. Olivia Campbell contributed three points and a game-best four assists for the Titans while Chloe Pustina registered three points, four rebounds and two steals.

The UW-Oshkosh bench accounted for 31 points, 20 of the team's 37 rebounds and five of the squad's seven 3-pointers. Bull shot 3 of 6 from 3-point range in a reserve role. Miller, Karsyn Rueth and Jessie Rabas all collected four rebounds off the bench.

UW-Oshkosh shot 46.4 percent (26-56) from the field, 31.8 percent (7-22) from behind the 3-point arc and 50 percent (6-12) at the free throw line. The Titans recorded advantages of 37-27 in rebounds, 9-3 in offensive rebounds, 18-5 in assists, 13-14 in turnovers and 7-5 in steals.

The Titans went into the game ranked eighth in the country by allowing 48.6 points per game. They were also leading the WIAC in average scoring (+18.7) and rebounding (+7.3) margins, turnovers per game (13.3) and assist-to-turnover ratio.

UW-Platteville shot 37.5 percent (18-48) from the floor, 16.7 percent (2-12) from 3-point range and 83.3 percent (5-6) at the foul line. The Pioneers' three offensive rebounds were a season low.

Maiah Domask paced the Pioneers with 11 points and six rebounds. She entered the contest leading the conference with 9.9 rebounds per game and 10 double-doubles.

Morgan Horstman and Rachel Emendorfer chipped in 10 points apiece for UW-Platteville, which received just four points and seven rebounds from its reserves.

UW-Oshkosh reclaimed the lead for good at 13-10 following a three-point play by Arneson with three seconds left in the opening quarter. The Titans scored nine unanswered points to build a 28-16 advantage en route to closing the period with a 17-3 run for a 36-19 lead at intermission.

The Titans' second-quarter run, which spanned the final 5:21 of the period, began with a pair of 3-pointers by Bull and included long-range jumpers from both Arneson and Pustina.

Samuels scored in the lane to increase the Titans' lead to 38-19 early in the third quarter, but UW-Platteville responded with a 14-1 scoring run to pull within 39-33 midway through the period as Emendorfer hit back-to-back 3-pointers and Domask knocked down a jumper during a stretch of 41 seconds.

Rabas later drained a 3-pointer for a 46-35 Titan lead with 2:47 left in the third quarter, and UW-Oshkosh maintained a double-digit cushion the rest of the way. The Titans held their largest lead of 22 points after Ludwig made a free throw to create the final score with two seconds to play.

UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday (Feb. 9). The Titans beat UW-Stevens Point by a 66-43 score Jan. 9 in Oshkosh.