WHITEWATER, Wis. -- Six Warhawks posted double figures in scoring as Wisconsin-Whitewater, ranked third in the latest D3hoops.com poll, topped Illinois Wesleyan 96-79 in its first home game of the season. UW-Whitewater is 5-0 and IWU falls to 3-2.
The Titans led three times in the game. The first time was recorded at 18:09 after a 5-0 run gave IWU a 5-3 lead. Mary Merg tied the game for the Warhawks in the next Whitewater possession and a jumper for the Titans gave Illinois Wesleyan its second lead. A 7-2 run capped by two Samantha Ellsworth free throws put IWU up 14-13 at 13:17 but it was all Whitewater the rest of the way. The Warhawks put together a 12-2 run stretching from 13:04 to 11:18 to take a nine point lead, 25-16. Then a 9-0 spurt capped by a Katie Burton three-pointer extended the gap into double figures with the Warhawks ahead 34-22 with 6:27 left in the half.
The UW-W advantage would hit 16 points at the 2:28 mark before the Titans came back with a five point run to narrow the gap to 11, 44-3 with 1:22 left. Whitewater scored five of the final six points of the half to head into the locker room with a 16 point lead 52-36.
UW-W shot 61 percent in the half making 19 of the 31 attempts. The Warhawk defense held the Titans to just 38 percent from the field in the first half. Two Warhawks were in double figures after the first twenty minutes. Katie Burton led UW-W with 11 including 3-4 from long range and Andrea Olsen was 5-7 from the field with 10 points.
UW-Whitewater's lead dipped below double digits just once in the second half. A layup by Gabrielle Holness brought the score to 74-65 at the 8:18 mark. Abbie Reeves pushed the advantage back into double figures with a three-pointer with 6:50 remaining. UW-W put together a 10-3 run after Reeves' three to put the game out of reach extending the gap to 19, 87-68 with 4:05 showing on the scoreboard. The Titans finished the game on a 9-2 run but the Warhawks had built a cushion. The final margin was 17, 96-79.
The Warhawks shot 57 percent from the field in the game compared to 47 percent for IWU. Merg tied for game high honors with 19 points adding five assists. Burton finished with 15 points and Amy Mandrell added 13. Kaitlyn Thill, Reeves and Olsen each had 12 in the game with Thill leading UW-W on the boards with six.