Wishing womens b-ball a Sweet 16

Nolan Swenson, Co-Sports Editor

UWO womens basketball
Courtesy of UWO Athletics
Nikki Arnesen moves in for a shot, scoring 20 points that game.

UW Oshkosh’s women’s basketball has made a comeback after their loss in the WIAC semifinals, with back-to-back wins Friday and Saturday for the NCAA DIII championships. Those wins last weekend have elevated them to the sweet sixteen. The upcoming third round will be Friday against Baldwin Wallace University at UW-Whitewater.

Last Friday, UWO faced off against Wisconsin Lutheran College which resulted in a score of 48-42. Head Coach Brad Fischer described the game as “a freaking battle”, and he attributed it to their opponent’s great defense and ability to create jams in the court. Senior Abby Kaiser knew what this chance to play meant to her when she said, “When we got sent home two years ago, we’ve spent every moment trying to get back here [in the NCAA DIII tournament].
After facing off against the Wisconsin Lutheran College Warriors, UWO moved to take on Simpson College the following night. Their game resulted in a score of 64-56. The game featured a strong UWO defense, with Simpson College having its lowest scoring output since the 2017-18 season. “This was one of the best teams in the country,” said Head Coach Fischer. “They are a final four level team, if not national champions.” The game paved the way for UWO’s third straight sweet sixteen run, and Kennedy Osterman’s first. She summed up her response to this run with three words when she said, “Incredible, Awesome, and Unbelievable.” She then continued to talk about the current senior class, “I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else.”
On Friday UWO will face Baldwin Wallace University, an Ohio university with a six-and-a-half hour trek to Whitewater. Some pregame stats to be informed about before Friday is that BWU has a 23-4 win loss, an average of 67.6 points per game, and average turnover per game of 15.4. The matchup is sure to be challenging, but Head Coach Fischer is confident. “We’ve had some years where we’ve played better, but I don’t know if we’ve had many years where we work tougher.”