Titans sweep Whitewater, Porath gets national recognition

Cory Sparks, Sports Editor

Courtesy of April Lee | Seniors Leah Porath (left) and Nikki Arneson (middle) defend the paint against Whitewater as Oshkosh takes the game by a score of 69-51 at Kolf on Feb. 12.

The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team swept UW-Whitewater in wins on Feb. 10 and Feb. 12 by scores of 73-68 and 69-51 to go 3-1 for the season.

After dropping their home opener against UW-Platteville by a score of 74-68 on Feb. 3, the Titans have gone on a three-game winning streak and have taken sole possession of the lead in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference’s East Division ahead of UW-Stevens Point, Whitewater and Platteville.

“We’ve just gotten better every game, and that’s kind of been our theme since we started practicing in October,” head coach Brad Fischer said. “Every game we have gotten sharper. Our defense has gotten a ton better over the last two weeks. I think our players are starting to develop some chemistry.”

Senior guard Leah Porath was the leading scorer in both games against Whitewater with 25 points on Feb. 10 and 20 points on Feb. 12. Porath was also named to the five player D3hoops.com Women’s Basketball Team of the Week for her performance between Feb. 8 to Feb. 14.

Contributions from younger players such as freshman guard Kennedy Osterman, who had a combined 13 points in both games against Whitewater, aided the Titans in their wins against the 2020 nationally ranked Warhawks.

“Kennedy, at Whitewater, played a ton of good minutes and really took care of the ball. I think the future is super bright,” Fischer said. “You need your point guards to become leaders regardless of class.”

The Titans’ ability to stick to their game plan also contributed to the sweep of Whitewater, which is something that has not happened in years.

“The key to the wins was us staying disciplined, poised and sticking to the game plan on offense and defense,” said senior center Karsyn Reuth, who had 20 points combined in the two games against Whitewater. “It felt so good to sweep Whitewater last week. It was my class’s first time doing that since coming here as freshmen.”

Another huge reason for this historic sweep was the women’s basketball team’s ability to spread the ball around to multiple deep shooting threats. As a team, Oshkosh shot 32% from behind the three-point line with six different players making at least one shot from behind the arc in one of the games against White


This deep shooting depth is not something that the team has possessed very consistently in the past due to lack of confidence when far away from the basket.

“You need to have multiple threats on the floor,” Fischer said. “I think in the past we’ve been somewhat limited at times with a couple of players on the floor that didn’t really feel comfortable shooting it.”

With the wins against Whitewater, Oshkosh has now won nine of its last 10 games stemming back through last year’s playoff competition and all the way to its 88-49 win against UW-River Falls on Feb. 22, 2020. The team’s season was cut short as they went into the third round of the NCAA tournament.

“This year’s team, I believe, would be able to make it farther than last year’s team did solely because I think we have proven we locked in and want to win more than anything this year,” Reuth said. “This year’s team is also experienced losing more games than usual last year so we know we do not want another conference season like last year.”

Oshkosh had a home game against UW-Stevens point on Wednesday, and the results can be found on the UWO athletics tab. The Titans will next play Stevens Point again tomorrow in Stevens Point with a tip-off time of 7 p.m.

The team will continue to look at its performances and quickly learn from them in order to better itself for the rest of the season.

“Nothing is guaranteed this year for our games and tournaments, so it’s nice to have little bench marks every couple of days to see where you’re at,” Fischer said.