Titans extend winning streak to six

By: Michael Johrendt and Morgan VanLanen

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh women’s basketball team held the University of Wisconsin-Platteville to just 17 points in the first half en route to a 72-51 victory Wednesday night.

Every player on the UWO 16-women roster played against the Pioneers, something senior forward Madeline Staples said her team took pride in.

“We have the depth,” Staples said. “Coaches trust a lot of players on this team. Teammates trust a lot of teammates. We feel confidant and it kind-of relieves the pressure off of people – we always know somebody else can lift up another person if needed.”

UWP got off to a quick start against the Titans, taking the lead of the game with a Morgan Horstman layup in the first 19 seconds. It was one of two field goals the sophomore converted in the game.

Alex Richard, who shot 2-6 from the field during the game, grabbed a rebound with 8:57 to go. The senior forward got fouled just two seconds later and shot one of two from the free throw line.

The Titans were able to convert 21 points off of turnovers against the Pioneers. Junior forward Eliza Campbell had one steal and seven rebounds in the game. With 8:36 left in the first quarter, Eliza stole the ball, which lead Taylor Schmidt three-pointer.

Just 37 seconds later Schmidt added another two pointers to put the Titans up 6-5. The Pioneers would not take the lead for the rest of the game.

With 6:50 remaining, Richard grabbed another point for her team at the free throw line. The forward went 2-4 from the line in Wednesday’s game.

After subbing in for junior Emma Melotik at the 5:58 minute mark, freshman guard Kylie Moe put her team up by four after grabbing an offensive rebound and putting it back just 36 seconds later.

Head coach Brad Fischer said the fact Oshkosh won the overall rebound, as well as the offensive board battle, was a key factor in the win.

“It was huge for us, as we got dominated on the boards against Stout,” Fischer said. “We held them to six on their end, and we did a good job capitalizing too. There are nights that we get the offensive rebounds but do not do anything with them, but tonight we were aggressive. We went right back to the rim, and they were huge momentum plays.”

Junior guard Kendell Truttman added her own three-pointer on a jump-shot to put the Titans up 12-5.

Sophomore forward Isabella Samuels contributed a point at the free throw line with 3:18 left. Just six seconds later, she lined up again and swished another one. Samuels had seven points in the game.

Junior Jaimee Pitt subbed in for the Titans with 3:09 to go. The guard added a point from the free throw line with a minute to go to make the score 18-7.

UWP’s sophomore center Allison Prestegaard responded with a two-point basket.

The Titans came out strong in the second quarter with a three-pointer from Schmidt to give the team a 12-point lead. Prestegaard responded shortly after with a jumper for the Pioneers.

Fischer said that being able to come out stronger than in their previous game against Stout was what helped set the tone for the contest.

“We did a lot better with the second group today,” Fischer said. “We had a slow start with the starters on Saturday, and the bench struggled the first time out. I thought the bench was really good to start today. I thought [Isabella] Samuels and Kylie Moe were really good tonight, and those two got us off to a really good start.”

A steal from Schmidt at the 6:19 minute mark led to a fast break and two points for the Titans. Schmidt was also fouled on her lay-up but was not able to convert her free throw.

Schmidt sank another three with 4:50 to go on a pass from Samuels to make the score 26-11.

Melotik, who had four rebounds in the game, chipped in three with 3:00 to go to give the Titans a 20-point margin

At 2:44, the Pioneers were able to pull within 17, however, Moe quickly responded and added three of her own to make the margin 20 once again.

Taylor Dagon put up her first two points of the game with 1:48 to go until half. The junior forward had an offensive rebound against the Pioneers.

The half concluded with a score of 38-17, Titans. UWO concluded the first 20 minutes of play by going 13-30 from the field, 6-10 from the three-point range and 6-13 from the free throw line.

Schmidt led the team in the first half, completing 5-6 shots from the two-point range. She went three-for-three from the three-point line and had one steal.

UWP was able to convert just seven of 28 shots from the field in the first 30 minutes of play. Schmidt said strong defense is something that helped propel her team to be successful against the Pioneers.

“I think it says a lot about our defense and the effort we put in on that side,” Schmidt said. “It’s something we always strive to be good at. I think when it pans out that way, we get extra pride on that side.”

To begin the second half, Richard recorded a steal that led to a breakaway lay in from Schmidt. Platteville responded with a jumper of their own to raise the score to 43-19.

After trading baskets, an offensive rebound from Samuels led to an open lay up for Eliza Campbell to make it 51-26 Oshkosh.

To close out the fourth quarter, Staples added two more with an assist from sophomore guard Chloe Pustina.

Like the beginning of the third quarter, Richard began the fourth with a positive play. She laid it in off an assist from Kokta.

Kokta gained another assist as she found Richard in the post for two more at the 7:13 mark, and Samuels made it to the line and went one for two to extend the scoring.

Fischer said this game was helpful in displaying the depth that the team prides itself on.

“We have been going eleven or twelve deep regularly, so it was good for them to get a little extra action,” Fischer said. “We were able to see some of the girls that we do not get to see all the time. We do have girls on the bench that are close to being in the rotation, so they just need some experience.”

The Titans continue their strong season next at home against UW-Eau Claire on Saturday, Dec. 14.