Whitewater women remain unbeaten in WIAC
UW-Platteville almost begged the UW-Whitewater women's basketball team to shoot from beyond the arc on Wednesday night.
The Warhawks obliged. Thirty times.
No. 12-ranked Whitewater outscored Platteville by 27 points from 3-point range and cruised to a 72-45 victory to remain unbeaten in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and at Kachel Gym.
“We talked a lot about how they were going to pack it in,” Warhawks coach Keri Carollo said. “We knew that our shooters were going to have to come ready to shoot.”
The Warhawks (16-3, 10-0 WIAC) buried five 3-pointers in each half.
Senior guard Mary Merg hit one—her only made basket of the night—from the top of the key with 4:02 remaining in the first half. It spurred a 14-2 run that turned a single-digit game into a double-digit lead by halftime and, eventually, a blowout.
“Defensively, we had a couple miscues to start the second half, which kind of set us back a little bit,” Carollo said. “But getting things rolling again on the offensive end and hitting big shots got our confidence going and definitely helped.”
The Pioneers never got back within 12 points in the second half.
Ten players had at least one basket for the Warhawks, who were led by freshman guard Reilly Stewart's 18 points. She made 4 of 8 3-pointers, including a 3-for-4 second half, to lead the outside shooting attack.
Senior forward Amy Mandrell had eight points and 11 rebounds, including five offensive boards.
Platteville got 20 points from Alyssa Krajco, but it shot just 29 percent from the floor and made just 1 of 15 3-point attempts.
It was the 12th straight victory at home for the Warhawks, who are 8-0 there this season.
“This team is definitely resilient,” Carollo said. “We knew they weren't going to come in here and hand us the game just because we're Whitewater. Maintaining that home winning streak is extremely important.”
To close out a WIAC title—or perhaps even an undefeated season in league play—Whitewater will have to take the show on the road.
They play four of their final six games away from the Williams Center, including trips to third-place Stevens Point and second-place Oshkosh—a season finale to keep an eye on as Oshkosh's only loss came at Whitewater.
“They're really relaxed and they have fun and they're goofy, but for these guys, they play better that way,” Carollo said. “But I think we're really focused on the next game. I know that's such a silly, old cliché, but we really just focus on the next team.”
UW-WHITEWATER 72, UW-PLATTEVILLE 45
Platteville (45)—Clark, 3-0-6; Krajco, 8-4-20; Cropp, 2-0-4; Carmody, 2-0-5; Schulz, 2-0-4; Buckmaster, 3-0-6. Totals: 20-4-45.
Whitewater (72)—Thill, 4-2-11; Reeves, 4-0-10; Mandrell, 3-2-8; Burton, 3-0-8; Merg, 1-2-5; Stewart, 7-0-18; Gloede, 1-0-2; Dahlke, 2-2-6; Schuler, 1-0-2; Ruchti, 1-0-2. Totals: 27-8-72.
UW-Platteville 22 23—45
UW-Whitewater 38 34—72
Three-point goals—UW-P 1 (Carmody), UW-W 10 (Thill, Reeves, 2, Burton 2, Merg, Stewart 4). Free throws missed—UW-P 0, UW-W 3. Total fouls—UW-P 15, UW-W 13.