By Angela Kelm
Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
Northampton, Mass. — Warhawk Women’s Basketball Falls in Sweet 16 |
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team’s run in the NCAA Division III Tournament came to a close in the Sweet 16 Friday night. The Warhawks fell to Trinity (CT) in a quarterfinal contest hosted by Smith College in Northampton, Mass.
UW-Whitewater ends their season 23-7 after making the team’s 21st appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament including 14 trips to the postseason since 2007. UWW won its 11th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season title in 2023, following it up with a WIAC Tournament crown for the championship sweep – a feat accomplished twice in program history.
In the first meeting between the two squads, the Bantams won the bookends while UW-Whitewater owned the second and third quarters. Both teams struggled from long range, but Trinity held the advantage from the field and free throw line.
Kacie Carollo hoped to set the tone with the first bucket of the game – a triple less than a minute in. However, threes would be hard to come by from either squad the rest of the way.
Trinity ran off the next ten before ending the period with five straight give the Bantams an eight-point lead at the end of the quarter, 17-9.
Carollo took over in the second quarter scoring six of the first seven points of the period to pull UWW within one, 17-16. From that point, the teams traded small runs with Renee Rittmeyer hitting a bucket as time expired to send the Warhawks into the intermission down three, 27-24. After a 10-point quarter, Carollo had 17 at the break.
On the other side of halftime, the Warhawks battled back from a six-point deficit to tie the game at 35 on a free throw by UWW’s number 35, Abi Baumgartner. The Bantams responded with back-to-back buckets before Baumgartner dropped in a pair of free throws and Maggie Trautsch hit a layup to knot the game at 39 with less than two minutes left in the period.
Trautsch struck again, this time from beyond the arc with under a minute to go. That triple reclaimed the lead for UW-Whitewater 42-41 heading into the final 10 minutes of play.
An 8-1 run to open the fourth for Trinity opened up a seven-point gap, 50-43. Carollo once again took over, sparking a run with an old-fashioned three-point play. She hit a jumper next then knocked down a three-pointer for eight straight points from the sophomore. Just like that, the game was tied at 52 with 5:47 left.
The Bantams hit a pair from the charity stripe, but Abby Belschner elevated over a defender banking a jumper home on Whitewater’s end. On the next trip on offense, Belschner drew a foul and hit the second of the two free throws to give UWW a 55-54 lead halfway through the quarter.
The squads traded single free throws down to the 3:09. Trinity hit back-to-back buckets while the Warhawks went cold offensively. Forced to foul facing a three-point deficit with under a minute remaining, the Bantams were able to seal the game from the charity stripe.
Carollo led all scorers with 28 adding eight rebounds. Baumgartner added 10 points and five boards for the Warhawks.