UWO wins 20th game of season

Michael Johrendt

The 13th-ranked UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team won two conference wins on Feb. 13 and 17 improving its record to 20-4 overall and 11-2 in conference. Wednesday’s game pitted the Titans against UW-Whitewater, which came down to the last possession for Oshkosh as they won 60-57. The Titans Take Down Cancer game was not fully decided until the fourth quarter, as both teams traded leads and deficits along the way. Junior forward Alex Richard led Oshkosh with 13 points, with six rebounds and one assist. Junior guard Taylor Schmidt scored ten points and knocked down two three-pointers and four assists. Senior guard Ashley Neustifter said the key to having balanced scoring is going into each game with a good mentality. “Anybody can go off on any night to help guide the team to a win,” Neustifter said. “ I think our trust in everyone on the floor to perform their role is strong.” Starters senior Marissa Selner and sophomore Eliza Campbell scored a combined 13 points and Selner had a game high 12 rebounds. The Titans continued their defensive efforts in the game by forcing 13 turnovers and not allowing a basket in the final 26 seconds. Neustifter said the best type of offense is defense. “Our goal is to focus on one possession at a time,” Neustifter said. “And getting a stop on the defense of end gives us another opportunity to score points on the offensive end.” The Titans replicated its score in consecutive games with a 57-44 victory over the UW-La Crosse Eagles on Saturday. The game against La Crosse was Senior Night for Neustifter and Selner. Neustifter scored seven points, brought down two rebounds and had three steals. Selner contributed five points, five rebounds, one assist and a steal. Campbell said the team’s defensive effort really set the tone all game. “Our defense effort was great against La Crosse,” Campbell said. “It makes us want to keep pushing to do better on the defensive side for upcoming games.” UWO forced 24 turnovers, including 17 forced by steals. For the 18th time this season, the Titans held their opponent to scoring under 60 points. Coach Brad Fischer said the defensive effort of the team was set early and was important for the rest of the game. “We did a good job just making them work for their stuff,” Fischer said, “and we knew that if we could make them play in the half court, [since] they do a good job in transition, that we had a good idea of what they were [going] to try to do.” The Titans were able to hold the Eagles to single digit scoring totals in the first and third quarters, which helped give UWO an early lead in order to win the game. Fischer said their defensive effort all started with forcing La Crosse to play five-on-five. “We really concentrated on making sure that we got back, made them play half-court offense, and then just do a good job of talking [by] communicating screens,” Fischer said.