UWO women fall in second round of NCAA tournament


Courtesy of ONU athletics — Oshkosh’s Ava Douglas (5) and Kayce Vaile (34) defend ONU guard Brynn Serbin (3) in Oshkosh’s second round NCAA tournament matchup March 4.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

After advancing to the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team fell to Ohio Northern University 71-60 March 4 at the ONU Sports Center.

In the first round, the Titans (20-9) defeated Washington and Lee University 58-55 March 3 at the ONU Sports Center to advance to the second round of the tournament.

Against ONU (25-4), Oshkosh’s Kayce Vaile scored a team-high 15 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Senior guard Jenna Jorgensen finished with 14 points and six rebounds, scoring nine of her points from the foul line. UWO outscored ONU 15-8 in bench points, but the Titans shot just 30% from the floor.

The Polar Bears had four of their starters finish in double figures, with guard Brynn Serbin scoring a game-high 19 points and dishing out nine assists. Center Brooke Allen and guard Abi Akamine scored 16 and 14 points, respectively, as the team shot 43% from the field. Forward Kristen Luersman had a double-double in the contest, scoring 12 points and grabbing 14 boards.

The two teams traded baskets to start the first quarter until Oshkosh’s Sarah Hardwick hit a 3-pointer and Vaile converted on a layup to give UWO a 12-8 lead. The Titans held onto a four point lead until the final minute of the period when ONU went on a 4-0 run to close out the first quarter, tying the game at 17.

Akamine gave the Polar Bears the lead with a free-throw, but UWO’s Ava Douglas hit a 3-pointer to give the Titans a two-point advantage early in the second quarter. A pair of free-throws from Allen kickstarted a 8-0 run for ONU, who took a 26-20 lead with just under six minutes to go until halftime. Oshkosh cut the Polar Bear advantage to three points, but ONU went on a 7-0 run after a Serbin 3-pointer late in the half to grow the lead to 10 points. ONU extended their advantage to 12 points with 24 seconds to go in the second quarter, but Jorgensen was fouled on a 3-point attempt and converted on all three free throws to cut the lead to 37-28 going into the break.

UWO could not cut into the Polar Bear lead for most of the third quarter, and Serbin drained another 3-pointer to put ONU up 13 points. With 24 seconds to go in the in the period, Oshkosh’s Kate Huml hit a 3-pointer as the third quarter ended with Ohio Northern on top 52-42.

Vaile cut the ONU lead to eight points after a free throw early in the fourth quarter, but Akamine responded with a 3-pointer for ONU to give the Polar Bears a 58-47 advantage. The teams traded baskets throughout the period until Akamine scored five straight points to extend the ONU lead to 15 points. The Titans went cold in the final quarter, shooting 19% from the field, and Ohio Northern cruised to an 11-point victory.

In their first round win over Washington and Lee (22-6), UWO trailed the Generals 55-53 with three seconds to go in the game when Jorgensen nailed a 3-pointer to give the Titans a one-point advantage. The Generals turned the ball over on their next possession, and UWO converted on two free throws to grind out the win.

Jorgensen scored 17 points and eight rebounds to lead all UWO players in the game. Douglas finished with 14 points and six assists while Vaile had 11 points and five rebounds.

Washington and Lee was led by forward Mary Schleusner, who scored a game-high 19 points and 21 boards on 8-for-27 shooting. Guard Hannah Malik finished with 11 points and the Generals were held to 31% shooting from the floor.

The win over the Generals marked the 300th game for UWO head coach Brad Fischer, who has led the Titans to a 236-65 record in 11 seasons.