Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Titans come up just short

UWO falls 61-59 in 3rd round of NCAA tournament
Courtesy of Brian Beard UWO’s Kate Huml drives to the basket against a Smith player March 8 in Brunswick, Maine, in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament.

The 2023-24 season for the UW Oshkosh womens’ basketball team came to a close as the Titans fell to the No. 14 nationally ranked Smith College Pioneers (Mass.) in the Sweet 16 round of the NCAA Division lll Tournament. The Pioneers came out on top over the Titans 61-59.

Kate Huml led the Titans in scoring with 17 points and four rebounds off the bench, Huml shot seven-of-14 from the field, including 3-of- five from the three. Mallory Hoitnik and Kayce Vaile followed in the scoring category with 14 and 12 points each. 

As the score indicated, the game was a back-and-forth battle. Neither team had a lead higher than nine in the game. Unfortunately though for the Titans, after the Pioneers retook the lead at 41-40 with 3:07 left in the third the Titans never were able to reclaim the lead. The Pioneers pulled out to a 51-42 lead. UWO was able to battle all the way back and tie it at 59-59 with a jumper from Huml. It was looking like UWO was going to be able to send it into overtime, until Smith hit a layup with seven seconds to go. After a missed buzzer beating attempt by Bridget Froehlke, the Pioneer layup ended up to be game winner and it sent the Titans home. 

After the game, sophomore Avery Poole said that Coach Brad Fischer told the team to not let this game define the season. 

“His main message to us after the game was to keep our heads high and that we should be proud of ourselves even though it was not the outcome that we wanted,” she said. “He reminded us that we had a very successful season, and we should not let this one game decide the success of the entire season.” 

It was a very successful season for the Titans indeed. UWO won the WIAC regular season title for the 15th time in program history, they also made the 11th Sweet 16 appearance in program history. 

“We were not projected to go as far as we did in the tournament, and in fact, we were not even projected to be at the top of our conference,” Poole said. “We knew this going into the season and we were determined to prove everyone wrong.” 

Poole also said that the extra year under their belts for most of the team helped them get better. 

The Titans will lose a couple players next season, including their top two points leaders this season in Vaile and Kennedy Osterman. However the Titans will also see a lot of talent return for next season, including their third leading in Bridget Froehlke. Froehlke also led the team in scoring for the first two NCAA tournament games. 

“We are motivated and we will work hard in the offseason to get us where we need to be,” Poole said. “I never want to experience that feeling again, and we are excited to be back next year with a very similar team.”

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