Karsyn Rueth led all players with a career-high 17 points as the defending WIAC champion UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team held UW-Platteville to 15 second-half points and pulled away for a 63-48 victory over the Pioneers on Wednesday (Jan. 8) in Platteville.
UW-Oshkosh (8-5, 1-1 WIAC) trailed, 30-27, at halftime before limiting UW-Platteville to just two points on 0-for-10 shooting from the field during the third quarter. The Titans outscored the Pioneers, 20-2, in the third period and 16-13 during the fourth en route to earning their 15th consecutive victory in the series.
Rueth, who surpassed her previous career high of 15 points, concluded the game shooting 7-for-10 from the field with five rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 21 minutes off the UW-Oshkosh bench. Rueth scored 12 of her points during the second half.
UW-Oshkosh starters Brooke Freitag and Leah Porath added 11 points apiece. Freitag went 4-for-6 from the floor on the way to establishing a new career high in points and a season best in steals with three while Porath, the WIAC's leading scorer, has reached double figures in all 13 games this season. Porath went into Wednesday pacing the conference with 19.7 points per game, a .550 field goal percentage and a .543 3-point percentage.
Nine different Titans scored against UW-Platteville as Nikki Arneson had six points, Emily Higgins and Emily Miller five apiece, and Olivia Campbell four. Campbell grabbed a game-high six rebounds and dished out a team-leading four assists after entering the game pacing the WIAC with a 1.92 assist-to-turnover ratio.
UW-Oshkosh concluded the game shooting 48.1 percent (25-52) from the field, 26.3 percent (5-19) from 3-point range and 80 percent (8-10) at the free throw line. The Titans owned advantages of 11-8 in assists, 13-16 in turnovers, 8-7 in steals and 5-2 in blocks. UW-Oshkosh went into Wednesday leading the country by committing just 10.9 turnovers per game and ranked eighth nationally with a 1.21 assist-to-turnover ratio.
UW-Platteville went 19 of 55 from the floor (.345), 2-for-14 (.143) from beyond the 3-point arc and 5-for-9 (.556) at the foul line. The Pioneers, who had a 30-29 edge in rebounds, ranked eighth in the country with a .459 field goal percentage before Wednesday.
Allison Heckert led the Pioneers (8-5, 0-2 WIAC) with 10 points, including nine in the first half, while Morgan Horstman added nine.
After playing to a 14-14 tie after one quarter, UW-Oshkosh took a 23-18 lead as Porath collected an offensive rebound and scored in the lane with just under six minutes left in the first half. However, Horstman drained a jumper as time expired in the second quarter to provide UW-Platteville a 30-27 advantage at intermission.
The Titans regained the lead for good at 31-30 following a Miller layup with 7:47 remaining in the third quarter. UW-Platteville did not score in the second half until Heckert split a pair of free throws that trimmed the Pioneers' deficit to 40-31 with 3:23 to play in the third period. Porath then drove for a layup 30 seconds later for a 42-31 UW-Oshkosh advantage, and the Titans led by double figures the rest of the way.
UW-Oshkosh held a 47-32 lead after three quarters and built their largest advantage of 21 points at 59-38 after a Rueth jumper at the 5:27 mark of the fourth period. UW-Platteville snapped its stretch of more than 10 minutes without a field goal when Horstman opened the fourth-quarter scoring with a jumper that trimmed the Titans' lead to 47-34 with 9:41 to play.
UW-Platteville's last win over UW-Oshkosh was a 68-63 decision Jan. 25, 2012. The Titans boast the three of the four longest active winning streaks in the conference as their 15 wins in a row over the Pioneers is the longest while their nine-game streak against UW-River Falls ranks second and their current seven-game skein over UW-Stout lists fourth.
UW-Oshkosh returns home to host UW-Stout on Saturday (Jan. 11) in Kolf Sports Center.