Warhawks Ride Thompson to Win at Oshkosh
In the waning minutes of a game that UW-Whitewater had to win, the senior came through. Center Dana Thompson compiled a double double, scoring 25 points and pulling down a season high 14 rebounds in Whitewater's 65-58 win at UW-Oshkosh Wednesday night. Thompson accounted for six of those points in the last 1:52 of the game, stymieing a Titan comeback.
Whitewater's win keeps the Warhawks in third place, one game behind UW-La Crosse, which won at UW-River Falls Wednesday. UW-W, 19-5 overall, is 11-4 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UW-La Crosse is 12-3.
Five different players scored the first ten points for Oshkosh, but Whitewater led 11-10. The teams exchanged the lead seven times in the first nine minutes, with UW-W eventually building a 19-14 lead on a Thompson layup at 10:05. Thompson had ten points in the first ten minutes of the game. That basket triggered an 11-0 run for Whitewater that pumped the lead up to 26-14 with 6:16 left in the half. Oshkosh, which went 6:21 without scoring, finally broke the drought with a pair of free throws by sophomore guard Katie Kitzke at 5:52. UW-W managed two thirteen points margins in the first half, 37-24 and the intermission score of 39-26.
Whitewater made five three pointers in the first half, Oshkosh none. Whitewater turned the ball over five times, Oshkosh 11 times. Thompson had ten points and nine rebounds to lead both teams, while freshman center Becca Diedrich blocked three shots for the Titans.
Mary Merg's jumper at 18:47 in the second half put UW-W up 43-28. Oshkosh responded with a 6-0 run to bring their deficit to single digits. With 10:28 left in the game it became the Shelby Churchill Show. Churchill, a senior forward, scored the next ten points for the Titans over a six minute span, drawing UW-O within two, 54-52. Still holding a perilous lead, freshman guard Kaitlyn Thill hit a three to put Whitewater up 57-52 at 4:16, and then both teams found points elusive with no further scoring until 2:03. Thompson hit two free throws at 1:52 to put Whitewater in front 59-53. Churchill responded with a three at 1:40 to make it 59-56. At 1:17 Thompson went to the line again, and hit two more free throws making the score 61-56. Oshkosh scored to make it a three point game, and with 0:45 left Thompson, again, made a pair of free throws for a 63-58 Warhawk lead. Merg hit two more charity tosses with 0:16 left to ice the game.
Both teams struggled from the field, Whitewater hitting 33% and Oshkosh 37%, but the Warhawks made five more threes than the Titans (6-1). The Titans held an edge at the line, hitting 19-21 while went 13-18.
Thompson's 14 rebounds equals the season high she had against UW-Superior December 11 and in the first game against Oshiosh January 12. Thill, who shared the game high with Merg, both with four steals, also chipped in with ten points. Junior forward Chantel Burg also scored ten points for UW-W. Churchill, like Thompson, recorded a double double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Diedrich scored ten points and blocked four shots.
UW-Oshkosh is 12-13 overall and 8-8 in the WIAC.