NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball: UW-Whitewater 74, UW-Eau Claire 62
For the second consecutive game, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team combined a relentless defense with strong perimeter shooting to earn a win in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Championship (Presented by Culver’s), defeating UW-Eau Claire 74-62 in a semifinal game at McPhee Center in Eau Claire.
With the win, the Warhawks (8-2 overall) will visit UW-Oshkosh Friday night for the team’s fourth appearance in the conference tournament championship game in the last five years. Tipoff time is to be announced. Banner note: The WIAC Championship Web Page indicates that tipoff is at 7:00 p.m.
Emily Schumacher poured in a season-high 21 points to go along with four assists to lead UW-Whitewater, which hit 10-of-24 (41.7 percent) from 3-point range and 20-of-23 (87 percent) from the free-throw line.
Johanna Taylor finished with 10 points as well as team highs of eight rebounds and six blocks. Rebekcah Schumacher tallied nine points on three 3-pointers, and Aleah Grundahl posted eight points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Yssa Sto. Domingo and Maggie Trautsch each added seven points off the bench.
The Warhawks held the Blugolds (8-2) to 32.2 percent shooting, making UW-EC uncomfortable thanks to their full-court defensive pressure.
The Warhawks jumped out to a 7-3 lead after back-to-back baskets by Taylor, the second at the 7:24 mark of the first. The Blugolds drew to within one at the midway point of the quarter, but 3-pointers in the final 1:39 of the frame by Adriana Wood, Emily Schumacher and Yssa Sto. Domingo gave UW-W a 22-13 advantage.
UW-Whitewater extended its lead to double digits at 28-18 just over four minutes into the second after a 3-pointer by Rebekah Schumacher. Emily Schumacher gave the Warhawks their largest lead of the first half at 43-30 with 1:16 left in the quarter on her third 3-pointer of the half. UW-W hit 8-of-15 from 3-point range in the opening half.
UW-Eau Claire drew to within eight early in the third, but Grundahl’s three free throws and a layup by Veronica Kieres pushed the lead back to 13. UW-Whitewater’s lead never fluctuated below nine points for the rest of the period.
A 3-pointer by Emily Schumacher in the opening minute of the fourth gave the Warhawks a 60-45 advantage. The Blugolds drew as close as eight points, but UW-W had a response each time on the other end to maintain its lead.