The No. 20 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team built a double-digit lead in the second half and held off a late rally Tuesday night in a 62-60 triumph over 25th-ranked Illinois Wesleyan in a non-conference affair at Kachel Gymnasium.
In a game between the preseason favorites in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin, the Warhawks (3-0 overall) built a nine-point lead by the end of the third quarter thanks to a 24-11 run during the period.
After the lead grew to double digits early in the fourth, the Titans (2-1) slowly whittled their deficit down to one possession, but senior forward Andrea Meinert (West Bend, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) hit a pair of clutch free throws with nine seconds left to put UW-Whitewater ahead by four.
Illinois Wesleyan converted a put-back on its next possession, but the Warhawks inbounded the ball and let the final second tick off to remain unbeaten on the season.
Sophomore guard Camri Conley (Sugar Grove, Ill./Kaneland) led UW-Whitewater with 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting to go along with five rebounds. Junior center Becky Deichl (Libertyville, Ill./Libertyville) collected 11 points and six rebounds, and senior guards Malia Smith (Bolingbrook, Ill./Neuqua Valley) and Brooke Trewyn (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) each tallied nine points. Smith added seven rebounds, and Trewyn totaled a team-best two steals.
Senior forward Andrea Meinert (West Bend, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) posted eight points and 10 rebounds, and junior center Sarah Schumacher (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) contributed seven points and five rebounds off the bench.
The Warhawks took a 10-5 lead midway through the first quarter after Trewyn knocked down a 3-pointer and Conley scored on a layup in transition. The lead held until the final moments of the period, when the Titans scored on an offensive rebound to take a 13-12 lead.
The two teams traded the lead in the second quarter until Illinois Wesleyan grabbed a five-point advantage with 1:32 on the clock following a 3-pointer. After freshman guard Rebekah Schumacher (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) responded with a 3-pointer, the Titans found another put-back in the closing seconds to take a 31-27 halftime lead.
UW-Whitewater opened the second half on a 15-5 run to take a 42-36 advantage with 5:26 remaining in the third quarter. The team took its largest lead of the period with 1:52 left after a free throw by Deichl, and matched it again with eight seconds to play in the quarter on a pair of free throws by Smith.
Deichl gave the Warhawks an 11-point lead one minute into the fourth, and the team maintained at least a three-possession lead until the 3:11 mark.
The Titans drew to within two after a pair of free throws, but were unable to take advantage of a UW-Whitewater turnover on the next possession, and Meinert gave the team a two-possession lead on her free throws in the closing seconds.
The Warhawks continue their four-game home stand after the Thanksgiving break on Monday, Nov. 27, against Concordia Wisconsin. Tipoff at Kachel Gymnasium is scheduled for 7 p.m.
SOURCE: UW-Whitewater Athletics Press Release