Women’s basketball shoots to impress in home-opener game

Cory Sparks, Reporter

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Last Friday, the nationally ranked UW Oshkosh Titans women’s basketball team opened their season with a bang, winning by a score of 68-54 against the Saint Mary’s University Cardinals (Minn.).

“This team was good,” junior Nikki Arneson said. “We played them last year and they had a lot of good returning people, but we knew our personnel for the most part.”

Junior Leah Porath led all players in scoring with 19 points while adding nine rebounds and three assists. Olivia Campbell also went on to put up impressive stats, getting 15 points, eight rebounds and three assists.

The team has a big task to complete, following an impressive 26-4 regular season campaign last year. However, they stood up to such a daunting task and took care of business in their home opener.

“Well, we’re kind of a new team, and a lot of people didn’t play last year,” Arneson said. “So getting those underclassmen some minutes is cool.”

In terms of the keys to success, the Titans made it a priority to play aggressively against a team that racked up an average of 39 rebounds per game in the 2018-19 season.

“We knew they were really good rebounders, so we just focused on the boards and boxing out,” Arneson said.
This was executed to near perfection as Oshkosh was able to out-rebound Saint Mary’s 35-31.

Additionally, the Titans had a sizable advantage in being able to move the ball around more, ultimately leading to easier scores. They won on paper in the assist category 16-8.

“I think we moved the ball well,” Arneson said. “We shot the ball very well and found our open players and we worked very well today.”

As a result of quality ball facilitation, Oshkosh shot remarkably well, shooting 44% from the field and 40% on 20 attempts behind-the-arc with Porath and Junior Karsyn Rueth being responsible for four of those three-pointers.

The Titans will now go on the road for the Loras College Tip-Off classic in Dubuque, Iowa, and will stay on the road until their Dec. 1 matchup against Lawrence University.