UWO women’s basketball selected for NCAA tournament


Jacob Link / Advance-Titan — The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team waits for their selection into the 2023 NCAA tournament.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team secured its spot in the 2023 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Championship as an at-large team Feb. 27.

In the first round of the tournament, the Titans (19-6) will take on Washington and Lee University (22-6) in Ada, Ohio, March 3 at 4:30 p.m. in the Ohio Northern section of the bracket.

Head coach Brad Fischer said he is excited about his team making the tournament.

“When you’ve done it so many times before, this is year 11 for me, I’ve had the excitement of the tournament before and I hope the new girls get to feel that “pop” that goes with it,” he said. “We’ve put in so much work, and to be one of the best teams in the country and get the opportunity to play in the tournament is a huge accomplishment.”

In the other matchup in Ada, Ohio Northern University will take on Berea College at 7 p.m. March 3. The two winners on March 3 will compete in the second round of the tournament on March 4 at 6:30 for a spot in the Sweet 16.

The Titans go into the game coming off a loss to UW-Whitewater in the semifinals of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament. UWO finished the regular season 8-6 in the WIAC, tied for fourth place with UW-La Crosse.

Oshkosh will be led by junior forward Kayce Vaile who averages 10.6 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. Senior point guard Ava Douglas enters the tournament averaging 9.3 points per game while shooting 45.1% from the floor. Alongside Douglas will be senior shooting guard Jenna Jorgensen, who is averaging 9.2 points per game and leads the team with 42 3-pointers made while shooting 30% from behind the arc.

As a team, UWO shoots 40.8% from the floor this season while averaging 61.9 points per game in 27 games played. The Titans hold their opponents to 55.5 points per game and 37.1% shooting from the 3-point line. This season, Oshkosh has been outrebounded by opponents 33.9-33.5 but forces 14.4 turnovers a game and out-steals opponents 6.3-5.3.

Fischer said he feels the whole season prepared the team for the tournament.

“We’ve played a bunch of teams that made it to the tournament so I like to think that regardless of what we see (against Washington and Lee), we’ve played a really good version of that type of team and feel prepared,” Fischer said.

Washington and Lee University enters the matchup on a seven-game winning streak, defeating Shenandoah University 73-57 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) championship, earning the Generals an automatic bid into the tournament. Washington and Lee went 16-2 in the ODAC, earning them the regular-season title.

The Generals will be led by freshman forward Mary Schleusner, who averages 14.1 points per game and 11.5 rebounds per game while shooting 46% from the field. In her last game, Schleusner had a double-double scoring 30 points and grabbing 19 rebounds.

The only other player averaging double-figures is Junior guard Hanna Malik, who is averaging 12.7 points per game and has the highest free-throw percentage on the team. Guard Sofia Feigleson is dangerous from behind the arc, shooting an ODAC-best 40.7% from behind the 3-point line and is averaging 7.5 points per game.

Last season, the Titans advanced to the quarterfinal of the NCAA tournament before falling to Whitewater 68-62.