Yellowjackets Lose To UW-Oshkosh In WIAC Title Game

Not many peo­ple thought the UW-Superior Women’s Bas­ket­ball team would be com­pet­ing for the WIAC tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship this sea­son. After a con­vinc­ing vic­tory over UW-Whitewater, in White­wa­ter, Wis. the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets headed to UW-Oshkosh to do bat­tle with the Titans.

After los­ing to the Titans twice in the reg­u­lar sea­son, the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets were con­fi­dent that the state­ment “It’s hard to beat a team three times in one sea­son” would come to fruition. Unfor­tu­nately, it didn’t. The Lady Yel­low­jack­ets held the lead through­out most of the first half, but could never grow their lead to more than five points as UW-Oshkosh kept it close before tak­ing over in the sec­ond half. The game fea­tured 13 lead changes and 11 ties, which is a sig­nif­i­cant amount in a bas­ket­ball game.

UW-Oshkosh came out of the gates strong at the start of the sec­ond half, scor­ing the eight of the first 11 points. From the 19-minute mark of the sec­ond half it was back and forth, which included an over three-minute mark where no team scored a sin­gle point. UW-Oshkosh finally stretched their lead to six points on a pair of free-throws by Sarah Stecker with 8:30 left in the game. The Lady Yel­low­jack­ets were held score­less over the next three min­utes, until senior guard Brit­nee Blake hit a three-pointer to cut the UW-Oshkosh lead to six points with just over five min­utes remaining.

But UW-Oshkosh held the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets at arm’s length for the rest of the game, hit­ting free-throw after free-throw when it mat­tered most. UW-Oshkosh held on to beat UW-Superior, 75–69 to win their sec­ond WIAC tour­na­ment cham­pi­onship and earn an auto­matic bid to the Divi­sion III NCAA Tour­na­ment. Fresh­man guard Brynn Lil­jan­der led the Yel­low­jack­ets with 21 points (4–7 from three) and Sally Linzmeier scored 20 points. Blake, play­ing in her final col­lege game, drilled four three-pointers en route to 12 points. UW-Oshkosh was led by Kate­lyn Kuehl, who scored 18 points and grabbed 11 rebounds.

With the loss, UW-Superior’s sea­son comes to an end. But it’s not a for­get­table sea­son. Per­haps it was even more mem­o­rable than last year’s sea­son in which the Lady Yel­low­jack­ets set numer­ous school records (such as wins in a sea­son with 19) and host­ing a home play­off game for the first time in school his­tory. With only Blake grad­u­at­ing, UW-Superior looks to be right in the thick of the con­fer­ence race again next season.

 

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