WIAC leading scorer Leah Porath had 16 points and nine rebounds to pace the defending league champion UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team to a 64-47 win at UW-River Falls on Saturday (Jan. 18).
UW-Oshkosh (9-7, 2-3 WIAC) never trailed on the way building leads of 21-15 after one quarter, 39-29 at intermission and 49-36 entering the final period. The Titans, who led by double digits for the final 21:17, featured 11 different scorers on the way to winning their 10th straight meeting with UW-River Falls.
UW-River Falls (4-11, 0-5 WIAC), which was held under 50 points for just the second time this season, suffered its ninth consecutive loss since its 73-64 win over Finlandia University (Mich.) on Nov. 30.
Porath, who entered the contest averaging 19.4 points per game, shot 8-for-13 from the field en route to her 20th consecutive double digit scoring performance. She scored 14 of her 16 points during the first half.
Nikki Arneson added 10 points for the Titans, who also received nine points from Karsyn Rueth, a career high-tying eight from Emily Higgins, five from Jenna Jorgensen and a career-best four from Mattea Peplinski. UW-Oshkosh reserves accounted for 33 points and 18 rebounds while committing just two turnovers in a combined 96 minutes played.
Olivia Campbell, who went into the game leading the conference with a 2.16 assist-to-turnover ratio, contributed five rebounds and a team-leading three assists without committing a turnover for the Titans.
UW-Oshkosh shot 27 of 66 (.409) from the floor, 5-for-21 (.238) from 3-point range and 5-for-9 (.556) at the free throw line. The Titans held advantages of 42-31 in rebounds, 9-6 in assists, 8-4 in steals and 5-10 in turnovers after entering Saturday leading the NCAA Division III with 11.4 turnovers per game. UW-Oshkosh has now committed 10 or fewer turnovers seven times this season.
UW-River Falls was held to 33.9 percent (19-56) shooting from the field and 23.1 percent (3-13) from beyond the 3-point arc. The Falcons, who shot 60 percent (6-10) at the foul line, tied their season lows in both steals and made 3-pointers.
Lori Wardynski paced the Falcons with 15 points on 7-for-18 shooting from the floor.
UW-Oshkosh jumped out to a 6-2 lead until UW-River Falls tied the score at 6 midway through the first quarter. Porath then hit a jumper at the 4:32 mark of the opening period for an 8-6 Titan advantage they would not relinquish for the remainder of the contest.
Clinging to an 11-10 lead, UW-Oshkosh rattled off a string of eight unanswered UW-Oshkosh points, beginning with a 3-pointer from Katie Ludwig and a Jorgensen three-point play before Higgins capped the eight-point run with a layup for a 19-10 advantage. UW-Oshkosh led by at least five points the rest of the way after Jorgensen's three-point play made the score 17-10 with 2:56 left in the first quarter.
The Titans, who led by at least 12 points for the final 19:41 of the game, built their largest lead of 19 points at 58-39 on a layup from Brooke Freitag with four minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Titans boast the two longest active winning streaks in the WIAC. UW-Oshkosh's 10 straight wins over UW-River Falls is the second longest in the conference, trailing only the Titans' 15-game winning streak over UW-Platteville.
UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday (Jan. 22).