The Advance-Titan

Menominee arena to host UWO WBB

The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team will be etched in the history books of the Menominee Nation Arena. The team will be playing its Dec. 30 home game against Carroll University in the newly-constructed Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh after reaching an agreement last week.

The arena, which is the home of the newly-founded Wisconsin Herd, the G-league affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, will be hosting the Titans and the Pioneers for its first-ever collegiate sporting event. This will be the 24th overall meeting between the schools, with the Titans looking to capitalize upon its 84-51 victory over Carroll in Waukesha last year.

This game will be the Titans’ second home game of the season, as they open with eight of the season’s first 10 games on the road. Besides the Dec. 30 affair, the Titans will host Edgewood College on Nov. 21 to open up its home slate.

Head coach Brad Fischer, who is entering his sixth season at the helm for Oshkosh, said this is a great opportunity for the team to take advantage of early on in the season.

“We are excited to have the new arena in town now and have the Herd here,” Fischer said. “For us to be able to partner with the arena at such an early stage and to get that first opportunity, that was important to me in setting things up and important for women’s sports too, especially for the women’s [basketball] team to be that team. It is definitely not lost on us how special this is, and we are really looking forward to a great day and are really excited to have the chance to kind of open the curtain up on the college scene from there because I am pretty sure that is going to be a huge part of the future for the building.”

Kate Wyman, the arena’s Marketing Coordinator, said for the arena to create this opportunity for the team is important to the community as well as the school.

“The Menominee Nation Arena is proud to host the UWO women’s basketball team as its first collegiate event,” Wyman said. “A beginning of a strong partnership will start when Oshkosh’s youth see those women play at the arena and dream of the day they can play there too. This agreement is only the beginning of dreams becoming reality.”

Dennis Zack, the American Indian Student Services Coordinator at UWO, said this type of agreement not only helps the University athletically but also creates a sense of welcome within the many cultural avenues of the campus community.

“The University is not in a vacuum by itself and is part of the larger Oshkosh and Fox Valley community, so when indigenous students see things such as the Menominee Nation Arena, it does create the sense of being a part of this community,” Zack said. “When indigenous students see or hear things in the community that resonates with them, that they can identify with, it goes a long way for [them to have] a sense of belonging. Action speaks louder than words, and along with this exciting announcement, the City of Oshkosh has other things on the horizon that speaks a lot to their commitment to diversity and inclusiveness of the city.”

Fischer said this opportunity allows the team, University and the arena to solidify a bond that can lead to more opportunities down the road.

“I would anticipate, as the future goes, we will continue to talk to them and the Herd about some opportunities to work together and have special event-type days,” Fischer said. “Obviously we love our building and feel like we have the home court advantage [at Kolf] too, so we won’t be looking to give away a lot of chances to play at home.”

For the Titans, this game marks the end of their non-conference slate for the 2017-18 season. Beginning in January, the season finishes with 13 WIAC conference affairs, seven at home.

UWO ends its season with three of its last four games at home, hosting UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point and UW-Stout, traveling to UW-La Crosse in between Whitewater and UWSP.

After making a run into the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA tournament last year, and eventually falling to Washington University in St. Louis, the team is looking to overcome losing the majority of its starting five and make it back to the tournament.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Menominee arena to host UWO WBB