Leah Porath's 27 points led all players as the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team routed host Pacific Lutheran University, 77-42, to open the Pacific Northwest Tournament on Saturday (Dec. 21) in Tacoma, Wash.
Porath outscored the Lutes, 20-17, during the first half as the Titans took the lead for good at 4-2 less than two minutes into the game. UW-Oshkosh went on to build leads of 15-5 after the first quarter, 36-17 at halftime and 58-38 entering the final period before holding Pacific Lutheran University scoreless for the last five minutes of the first meeting between the teams.
Porath shot 12 of 18 from the floor, including 9-for-12 during the first half, and finished the game with career highs of four steals and two blocks to go along with eight rebounds. Porath, scoring a team-leading 21 points per game on the year, has produced double-digit point totals in each of the Titans' past 13 games.
Emily Miller added nine points for the Titans, shooting 4-for-4 from the field and matching her career high with seven rebounds in 22 minutes off the UW-Oshkosh bench as Titan reserves accounted for 35 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists.
UW-Oshkosh starter Nikki Arneson had eight points and a career-best 12 rebounds. Titan reserve Abby Kaiser chipped in seven points, a career-high four assists and two steals. Olivia Campbell, who went into the contest ranked 14th in the NCAA Division III with a 2.77 assist-to-turnover ratio, had a game-best five assists, three steals and a pair of blocks for UW-Oshkosh.
The Titans concluded the game shooting 52.5 percent (32-61) from the floor and 60 percent (9-15) at the free throw line while owning advantages of 50-35 in rebounds, 19-8 in assists, 13-16 in turnovers, 13-2 in steals and 9-3 in blocks. UW-Oshkosh established season highs in rebounds, assists and blocks.
UW-Oshkosh (6-3), which extended its winning streak to four games, entered Saturday leading the NCAA Division III with 10.5 turnovers per game while ranking third nationally with a 1.29 assist-to-turnover ratio and fifth with a .793 free throw percentage.
Pacific Lutheran University was limited to 24.6 percent (15-61) shooting from the field, including 18.2 percent (4-22) from 3-point range. The Lutes were held to season lows in points, field goal percentage, rebounds and steals. The Lutes' two steals were their fewest since also collecting two Dec. 17, 2011.
Megan Drake paced Pacific Lutheran University with 11 points and six rebounds.
Porath scored the Titans' first six points as UW-Oshkosh reclaimed the lead for good at 4-2 with 8:11 remaining during a first quarter in which Pacific Lutheran University shot 2-for-15 from the field and committed four turnovers. The Titans held the Lutes scoreless during a stretch of more than five minutes spanning the first two periods.
A Porath layup increased UW-Oshkosh's lead to 29-11 at the 4:40 mark of the second quarter. Porath's 20th point of the first half upped the Titans' lead to 36-16 with 1:37 left in the second period.
Pacific Lutheran University (5-3) cut its deficit to 45-31 with less than five minutes to play in the third quarter, but UW-Oshkosh outscored the Lutes, 32-11, the rest of the way. The Lutes went 1-for-18 from the floor during the fourth period as UW-Oshkosh built its largest lead of 35 points when Jenna Jorgensen's 3-pointer with 70 seconds left created the final score.
UW-Oshkosh remains in Tacoma to play University of Puget Sound (Wash.) on Sunday (Dec. 22).
Photo courtesy of Pacific Lutheran University sports information