Nikki Arneson had a season-high 20 points and eight rebounds as the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team pulled away for a 72-57 victory at St. Norbert College on Tuesday (Dec. 17) in De Pere.
UW-Oshkosh (5-3) held a 49-48 lead entering the fourth quarter before outscoring St. Norbert College, 23-9, during the final period. The Titans trailed for four minutes the entire game and finished the contest shooting 24 of 30 (80 percent) at the free throw line, including 15 of 19 in the fourth quarter.
Arneson went 5-for-9 from the field and 8-for-8 at the foul line to surpass her previous season high of 18 points.
Leah Porath added 14 points and seven rebounds for UW-Oshkosh while Brooke Freitag and Emily Miller chipped in nine and eight points, respectively, off the Titan bench. Porath, who produced her 12th consecutive double-digit scoring effort, entered Tuesday ranked 16th in the NCAA Division III with a scoring average of 21.1 points per game.
The Titans, who earned their fifth straight win over the Green Knights, owned advantages of 39-37 in rebounds and 10-13 in turnovers. UW-Oshkosh, which committed just two second-half turnovers, went into Tuesday leading the country with 10.6 turnovers per contest while ranking fifth nationally in free throw percentage (.791) and assist-to-turnover ratio (1.27).
St. Norbert College narrowly outshot UW-Oshkosh, 40.4 percent (23-57) to 39.2 percent (20-51) from the field, and compiled edges of 17-14 in assists and 8-7 in assists, but the Green Knights went 4-for-16 (25 percent) from 3-point range and converted just 7 of 19 attempts (36.8 percent) at the free throw line.
The Green Knights (1-7), who suffered their seventh straight loss after a season-opening win, went into the contest ranked 430th of 431 Division III programs with a .495 free throw percentage and 427th with 2.3 made 3-pointers per game.
Macie Zurfluh led St. Norbert College with 16 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, five steals and two blocks.
Jessica Boerner had 11 points and a pair of assists off the St. Norbert College bench, which accounted for 27 points.
Campbell buried a 3-pointer that gave UW-Oshkosh a 3-2 lead at the 8:57 mark of the first quarter, and the Titans did not trail again until the third period. A Porath 3-pointer extended UW-Oshkosh's advantage to 10-3 before the Titans ended the opening period with a 20-11 lead.
St. Norbert College reclaimed a 25-24 lead with six minutes remaining in the second quarter, but UW-Oshkosh answered with a 12-3 scoring run to take a 36-28 advantage. UW-Oshkosh entered intermission with a 36-34 lead.
The Green Knights increased their run to 10 unanswered points with a pair of field goals in the opening minute of the third quarter for a 38-36 lead. UW-Oshkosh missed seven consecutive shots from the floor until Arneson scored in the lane to give the Titans a 39-38 lead they would not relinquish with 5:56 left in the third quarter.
Tied at 53 with 6:22 to play, UW-Oshkosh put the game away with a string of 13 straight points as the Titans held the Green Knights scoreless for a stretch of nearly four minutes. Miller gave UW-Oshkosh the lead for good at 55-53 on a layup with 5:25 left. The Titans then extended their run with a Porath 3-pointer and eight free throws from Arneson for a 66-53 lead with 1:43 remaining.
St. Norbert College missed five field goal attempts and committed three turnovers during the Titans' 13-0 run that spanned for more than five minutes until Zurfluh drove for a layup with 77 seconds to play.
UW-Oshkosh flies to Tacoma, Wash., to play Pacific Lutheran University on Saturday (Dec. 21) and University of Puget Sound (Wash.) on Sunday (Dec. 22). Both games will be held at Pacific Lutheran University.