Experienced team poised for success in 2019

Cory Sparks, Sports Reporter

The UW Oshkosh women’s basketball team played their first and only exhibition game against UW-Green Bay on Oct. 30. The Titans lost by a score of 76-36 in the preseason matchup, but the team was able to identify their faults immediately.

“For the most part, offensive rebounds for Green Bay got us,” sophomore guard Brooke Freitag said. “Due to their bigger build and physicality we should have not given them more chances at the rim.”

The team had a remarkable 26-4 record last year, including a dominating 13-1 record at home, showing the WIAC and the rest of the country that this is a team that should not be taken lightly.

Even with such a large margin between the team’s scores in Oshkosh’s loss to Green Bay, there were definitely some positives to take away from the preseason game.

“It helped our team get more experience with one another,” Freitag, who averaged 2.6 points per game on 37% shooting last year, said. “Also, giving us an advantage from playing stronger and faster competition over most teams that we will see in the future.”

The Titans are projected at the No. 8 spot nationally by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association and they’re sitting at the No. 17 spot according to D3hoops.com. This squad has high aspirations for this season, and they aren’t satisfied with last year’s third round postseason exit that followed a successful regular season campaign.

“Our team goals for this season are to keep getting better and to lock down on defense,” Freitag said.

If the team can indeed improve in the defensive category, it would be quite an impressive feat considering that they only allowed 49.1 points per game last season, good enough for ninth in the country.

The Titans are the only WIAC team to be nationally ranked in the top 25 by the WBCA, and they’re joined by UW-La Crosse (19th) as the only WIAC teams to be ranked in the top 25 by the D3hoops.com poll.

With 12 letter winners returning from an Oshkosh team that set a program record last year with 199 three-pointers made, the anticipation for this upcoming season is rather high.

This year’s squad will be led by junior Leah Porath who averaged 7.2 points and 3.3 rebounds per game last year and senior Olivia Campbell who took home All-WIAC Defensive Team honors for the second straight season and all-league honorable mention recognition after averaging six points, 4.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.7 steals per game in the 2018 season.

“Overall, I see our team being pretty successful,” Freitag said. “With our team chemistry and discipline, we’ll be hard to stop.”

The Titans’ regular season will officially kick off on Nov. 11 when they take on Saint Mary’s University (Minn.) at home with a tip-off time of 7 p.m.