Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

UWO women’s basketball falls to Green Bay

For the second time in three years, the UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team traveled north to face off against Division I UW-Green Bay in an exhibition game Saturday, losing 79-35.

Oshkosh, who also lost to Green Bay in the 2014-15 season, shot 12 of 18 from the free throw line and brought down 29 rebounds in their defeat. All 17 Titans played in the exhibition contest for Oshkosh, as did all 14 for the Phoenix.

Head coach Brad Fischer, who is entering his fifth season at Oshkosh, said the resume of UW-Green Bay helps Oshkosh put into perspective their outlook on the season.

“It is a great way for us to start [the season],” Fischer said. “[Green Bay] is a top-25 Division I team, so people just think [the difference is] that [they are only] two divisions higher, but the caliber of player they have is among the best in the country.”

Every member of the Titans played in the exhibition contest Saturday, with senior Taylor Schmidt leading the Titans with nine points and two rebounds and senior Alex Richard chipping in seven points and a team-high of four rebounds. The bench production for Oshkosh was spearheaded by freshman Kylie Moe with three points and sophomore Kayla Lorenz with four.

Schmidt said the opportunity the Titans have is unique and not one that a Division III-level school normally experiences.

“Being able to play a [Division I] team says a lot about our program,” Schmidt said. “I think people see it as an opportunity to take full advantage of [the situation], [because] Division III teams usually do not get these types of opportunities two times in three years, and we are humbled for [UW-Green Bay] to have asked us back.”

The Phoenix led each stat category for the game, but everyone on the Oshkosh roster played and recorded a tally on the stat sheet.

Fischer said even with these results, there is a lot to gain from the experience because they had some success against UWGB’s younger players and bench.

“It is a great test for us: we got to learn a lot really quickly about the stuff we need to work on,” Fischer said. “At the same time, we are trying to learn who is ready to [fill roles] for us. We played [all 14] in the rotation in the first three-and-a-half quarters, so the score is definitely not an indication of how much we get out [this game], [plus with] playing in front of that many people on that stage is a great way for us to get things started.”

Four teams from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference made it to the NCAA Tournament last year. UW-River Falls won conference a year ago with Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point each finishing a game a piece behind the Falcons along with UW-Whitewater also receiving a bid.

Fischer said this game is a valuable experience for the team to begin the season and it is very influential in their preparation for the improved WIAC.

“I do not believe that it changes anything that we do because regardless of where we were picked, we felt like we have the ability to be a really good team,” Fischer said. “It is nice that other people think that we are good, but we definitely have our work cut out to back that up. We are going to be tested this year and we tried to beef up our non-conference schedule to get ready for that too.”

The Titans are only one of eight schools in the country to advance past the first round at each of the past three NCAA Tournaments.

Considering the overall team outlook, junior guard Morgan Kokta said that the difference in divisions between the teams does not limit the lessons that they were able to take away.

“We need to play as a team, both on and off the court,” Kokta said. “It is tough because they are Division I and we are Division III, so I feel that we can work from our little mistakes that we made. Taking care of the ball [and] playing team defense is going to help us during the regular season.”

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