Wis.-Whitewater Starts Tournament With 69-59 Win Over Simpson
March 6, 2009
Courtesy of Wis.-Whitewater
UW-Whitewater opened play in the National Collegiate Athletic Association Division III championship tournament with a 69-59 win over Simpson College in a game played in Saint Joseph, Minnesota. The Warhawks advance to Saturday's regional final, where UW-W, 23-4, will face the winner of Friday's second regional game between Ripon College, 17-8, and host The College of Saint Benedict, 23-4. Saturday's tipoff is set for 7:30. The winner of Saturday's regional final will advance to sectional play Friday-Saturday, March 13-14.
Trailing 5-2 early, which would prove to be Simpson's largest lead of the game, UW-W went on a 14-0 run to put their margin to 16-5 at 6:01 in the first half. A three-pointer by Simpson's Katie Kitzman ended the run at 5:50. Whitewater eventually built a fourteen point bulge, 28-14 with 2::04 left in the half. The halftime score was 28-16.
Simpson used a a 5-0 spurt to close within seven, 32-25, with 17:41. The Storm continued to whittle away at the lead, eventually closing to 54-51 on three point play by Maria Oliver. Whitewater responded with a 6-0 run to make it 60-51 on a Dana Thompson jumper at 4:12. The game see-sawed a couple of points either way the last four minutes, without affecting the outcome.
UW-W limited Simpson to 29% shooting from the floor, with UW-W hitting 41%. Both teams sent a steady stream of players to the free throw line, with UW-W hitting 21-29 and Simpson 24-35. The teams' up tempo style led to a total of 48 turnovers.
The Warhawks were led senior center Tiffany Morton, who compiled her school career record twenty-eighth double-double. Morton led UW-W with 16 points and was the game's leading rebounder with 11. Heidi Sonntag added 13 points, 11 in the second half, and Kelsey Hendrickson added 12. Sonntage also had a game-high six assists, and Hendrickson led both squads with six steals. The six steals is a season high for UW-W.
Simpson's Maria Oliver led all scorers with 20, hitting 7-11 from the floor. Oliver also blocked three shots. Carrie Larson chipped in with 12 points, and Whitney Franker led the Storm with nine rebounds.
Simpson ended the year 24-4. UW-W has ended Simpson's season the last two years. The Warhawks defeated Simpson 96-69 in the third round, sectional semifinal, in Whitewater, of the 2008 tourney.