The Advance-Titan

WBB falls back in WIAC standings

The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team falls into third place in the conference with one game left before playoffs begin Feb. 20.

Senior+forward+Madeline+Staples+receives+the+ball+in+the+post+and+works+to+make+a+move+towards+the+basket+against+UW-Stevens+Point+on+Wednesday.+Staples+averages+five+points+per+game+on+42.4+percent+shooting+this+season.
Senior forward Madeline Staples receives the ball in the post and works to make a move towards the basket against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Staples averages five points per game on 42.4 percent shooting this season.

Senior forward Madeline Staples receives the ball in the post and works to make a move towards the basket against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Staples averages five points per game on 42.4 percent shooting this season.

Alicia Kahl

Alicia Kahl

Senior forward Madeline Staples receives the ball in the post and works to make a move towards the basket against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Staples averages five points per game on 42.4 percent shooting this season.

Mike Johrendt, Sports Editor

Senior forward Madeline Staples receives the ball in the post and works to make a move towards the basket against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Staples averages five points per game on 42.4 percent shooting this season.

Alicia Kahl
Senior forward Madeline Staples receives the ball in the post and works to make a move towards the basket against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday. Staples averages five points per game on 42.4 percent shooting this season.

After a one win, one loss week, the UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team currently holds third place in the regular season standings with one game remaining going into the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference playoffs. Whichever team wins the tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III post-season tournament.

Oshkosh falls to Stevens Point

Oshkosh hosted the UW-Stevens Point Pointers on Wednesday and came away with a loss, 60-52. Senior guard Jaimee Pitt tied for the team lead with 10 points on four of seven shooting, with two points coming from the charity stripe.

Going into halftime, the Titans faced a two-point deficit. Pitt and Emma Melotik contributed six points each going into the locker rooms, with Pitt going three for five from the field and Melotik knocking down two of three shots from behind the arc.

Junior forward Isabella Samuels added five points on two-of-four shooting and brought in four rebounds. Samuels only went one of five from the free throw line, which were the only shots from the charity stripe taken by the entire team in the first half.

As a team, Oshkosh shot 44.4 percent from the field and a healthy 50 percent from behind the arc. UWO shot better from the field and from three than the Pointers, but still faced a deficit coming out of the locker room for the third quarter.

The team was unable to get out of the early hole, never drawing any closer than the two-point deficit from the first half. A balanced attack paced the team throughout the night, but ultimately did not provide the squad with enough scoring to earn the important victory for postseason seeding.

Four players scored at least seven points, but in the end the balanced attack did not provide enough in the loss.

Junior forward Melanie Schneider helped Oshkosh keep it close throughout, as her 10 points on four of eight shooting was second-best on the night for the Titans. Schneider also contributed four rebounds and hit one three-point shot and went one of two at the line.

This loss pushed the Titans down to third place in the WIAC standings, which broke a three-way tie for second with UW-Eau Claire and UW-La Crosse. Both Eau Claire and La Crosse earned victories on Wednesday, creating the fluctuation in the conference standings with one regular-season game remaining.

The team’s record now stands at 18-5 on the year, with a five win, three loss record when playing at home.

UW Oshkosh senior forward Eliza Campbell ducks under a Pointer player and powers toward the hoop against UW-Stevens Point.

Alicia Kahl
UW Oshkosh senior forward Eliza Campbell ducks under a Pointer player and powers toward the hoop against UW-Stevens Point.

UWO avenges early-season loss to La Crosse

The Titans fell to the Eagles when the two teams faced off earlier in the year, but Oshkosh earned its 18th win of the season in a 61-49 victory in La Crosse on Feb. 10. Leading the squad to victory was junior forward Isabella Samuels, who tied her career high with 16 points and added eight rebounds in the win.

The 18th-ranked Titans also received double-figure scoring from senior forwards Eliza Campbell and Madeline Staples. Eliza Campbell contributed 13 points, including two three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and a block, while Staples added 10 points on four-of-eight shooting, in only 11 minutes off the bench.

Head coach Brad Fischer said with the team having as many away and neutral site games as it has, it can take a toll on a team not playing at home.

“I think playing so many games on the road has kind of added up,” Fischer said. “I didn’t think it added up in the beginning, but the reality is when you really don’t play a lot of home games, it really adds on you that you have to keep getting on a bus. Our league is just better this year, it is deeper and there are five NCAA tournament-eligible teams, I think, and the other three in that group are good enough to beat you any night. So now we will see if being at home will be an advantage or if it doesn’t matter as much as in the past.”

In 23 minutes off the bench, Pitt had six points, two rebounds and a steal, while junior forward Melanie Schneider and freshman forward Karsyn Rueth combined for six points, four rebounds and one assist off the pine.

The remainder of the starting unit contributed 10 points as sophomore guard Olivia Campbell, Melotik and junior guard Chloe Pustina helped push UWO to victory. Pustina led the team in assists with five, and Olivia Campbell tied with Pustina for the game-lead in steals with two.

Pustina said the team has been able to make consistent improvements throughout the season, which has helped the team stick together through rough patches.

“I think we are really playing better together [by] improving our team play and team defense, finding the open person and not being selfish,” Pustina said.

Olivia Campbell said the team was able to make a change after conference losses during the season and said the game-by-game mentality has helped ever since.

“We need to take one game at a time, one practice at a time,” Olivia Campbell said. “After our losses against Whitewater and Eau Claire, we really talked about needing to come to practice every day with a one-day-at-a-time mentality and treating it like the season is coming to an end so every game is important. Just making sure that we come every day ready to go and just look to get better each and every day.”

Playoffs loom as UWO looks to finish out the season

Feb. 17 is the final regular season game for the Titans, which subsequently is also senior night for five players: Eliza Campbell, Taylor Dagon, Melotik, Pitt and Staples. The team finishes the season against the UW-Stout Blue Devils on Saturday.

Fischer said the change that the team has experienced from losing four major contributors from last season has mostly been positive and in some areas exceeded expectations.

After all games are finished, the seeding for the postseason will be determined, which will then determine who and where the team will play in the tournament. The first round will be played on Tuesday, with the second round taking place on Thursday. The team is looking to bounce back from its home loss against UW-Whitewater last year in the championship contest.

Leave a Comment
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
WBB falls back in WIAC standings