LA CROSSE, Wis. –Wisconsin-La Crosse earned its first Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) win of the season Wednesday night with a 71-68 victory against 21st-ranked UW-Whitewater in Mitchell Hall. Both teams are now 6-2 overall and 1-1 in the conference.
It is UW-La Crosse’s third win in the last 11 meetings with UW-Whitewater.
UW-Whitewater scored the first two points of the game, but UW-L scored the next eight points to lead 8-2 with 16:40 remaining. The Eagles later led 21-18 with 8:03 left in the half when they went on a 17-2 run to lead 38-20. UW-L led 38-22 at halftime, shooting 51.7 percent (15-of-29) from the field in the first half.
The Eagles led 41-25 with 16:00 left, but the Warhawks used a 14-2 run to cut the lead to 43-39 wiht 9:47 remaining. UW-L led 49-44 with 6:14 remaining after Mallory Cramer hit one-of-two free throws. UW-Whitewater went on a 12-3 run to take a 56-52 lead with 2:19 left.
Leah Harms hit a layup for UW-L to make it 56-54 and Katie Ehlen hit one-of-two at the line to cut the lead to 56-55 with :50 remaining. UW-Whitewater turned the ball over on a shot clock violation with :19 left and Kassie Robinson gave UW-L a 58-56 advantage with :06 remaining on a layup and free throw. After a timeout, the Warhawks’ Kaitlyn Thill drove the length of the court and was fouled with :01 remaining. She hit both free throws to force overtime.
The Warhawks took a 64-63 lead with 2:48 left in overtime on a pair of Thill free throws, but Cramer made two free throws and hit a jumper to give the Eagles a 67-64 lead with 1:34 remaining. UW-Whitewater trailed 69-68 with :12 left after a Chantel Burg layup and Harms was fouled. She made the first free throw and missed the second, but grabbed the offensive rebounds and was fouled with :07 remaining. Harms again made the first shot at the charity line to give UW-L a 71-68 lead and missed the second, but Ehlen got the offensive rebound.
Ehlen missed both shots with :03 left and Robinson got the Eagles’ third consecutive offensive rebound with Rachael Salata being fouled. She missed two free throws with :01 left.
Robinson led UW-L with 19 points, finishing six-of-nine from the field and seven-of-10 at the line. She also had eight rebounds and four blocks. Briana Radowicz had 11 points and three steals while Harms finished with 10 points, six rebounds and two steals.
Ehlen had eight points and a game-high 13 rebounds while Cramer finished with eight points, rebounds, five blocks and four steals.
UW-L shot 45.1 percent from the field, including 18.2 percent (two-of-11) from three-point range, and 60.5 percent (23-of-38) at the free throw line. The Eagles finished with 34 turnovers.
Cortney Kumerow led UW-Whitewater with 18 points while Burg had 14 points, 10 rebounds, eight steals and five assists. Mary Merg had 17 points, five rebounds, five steals and three assists. UW-Whitewater had 21 steals.
The Warhawks shot 33.8% from the field, including 27.3 percent (three-of-11) from three-point range, and 82.6% (19-of-23) at the line.