NCAA DIVISION III WOMEN’S BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT
What: NCAA Division III women’s basketball tournament, third and fourth rounds.
When: Friday and Saturday.
Where: Kachel Gymnasium, UW-Whitewater.
At stake: Saturday’s winner advances to NCAA III Final Four, set for March 17 and 19 at UPMC Cooper Fieldhouse in Pittsburgh.
Tickets: Available at the door at $10 per game ($7 for students and seniors; free for children age 3 and younger).
5 p.m. Friday—UW-Oshkosh (21-6) vs. No. 10 Baldwin-Wallace (23-4).
7:30 p.m. Friday—No. 12 UW-Whitewater (25-4) vs. No. 16 Smith College (25-2).
7 p.m. Saturday—Semifinal winners meet.
UW-Whitewater—Aleah Grundahl, a 6-foot junior forward from DeForest, earned Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference co-player of the year honors and is averaging 16.4 points per game and 4.5 rebounds per game on 51.1% shooting from the field. Johanna Taylor, a 6-2 senior center, averages 8.8 ppg and a team-best 7.7 rpg, leads the team with 80 assists and ranks 21st nationally with 58 blocks. …. Other key players are senior guard Rebekah Schumacher, a Whitewater High School product (8.4 ppg), freshman guard Kacie Carollo (8 ppg, 4.3 rpg) and sophomore guard Maggie Trautsch (7.2 ppg). … The Warhawks rank ninth in NCAA III in steals (381), 17th in steals per game (13.1) and 14th in total blocks (143). … Despite having only one player averaging in double figures, the Warhawks led the WIAC in scoring with 71.7 ppg. … Coach Keri Carollo’s Warhawks are making their 20th appearance in the NCAA III tournament, including their 13th trip in the last 14 seasons. Whitewater had missed the tournament for 13 consecutive years before starting its current run in 2008. … The Warhawks advanced to the Final Four in 2008 (taking third), 2013 (runner-up) and 2014 (third). … Whitewater has never met Smith, is 46-64 all-time against UW-Oshkosh and lost its only meeting with Baldwin-Wallace in 2002. … The Warhawks beat Ripon College 58-34 and Illinois Wesleyan 72-54 at home last weekend.
Smith—The Pioneers come in with a 10-game winning streak. The team ranks fourth in Division III in field-goal shooting (46.1%) and 21st in 3-point shooting (33.7%). Katelyn Pickunka, a 5-9 senior forward, leads Smith in scoring (11.5 ppg) and rebounding (7.7 rpg), with 5-7 sophomore guard Jessie Ruffner (11.0 ppg) and 6-foot junior forward Morgan Morrison (10.6 ppg) also averaging in double figures. Pickunka and Morrison each shoot better than 50% from the field. Dashelle Gliesner, a 5-6 senior guard, ranks among the national leaders in assists (131) and steals (74). … Coach Lynn Hersey’s Pioneers, from Northampton, Massachusetts, have made three NCAA III tournament showings in the last 10 years, advancing to the Sweet Sixteen in 2020 before the tournament was called off due to COVID-19. … Smith downed Framingham State 61-51 and Brooklyn College 76-58 at home last weekend.
UW-Oshkosh—The Titans are led by 5-9 senior guard Leah Porath, a two-time D3hoops.com all-American with 1,368 points, and 5-11 senior forward Nikki Arneson, who has 1,040 career points. This year, the two are averaging 14.3 and 12.7 ppg, respectively, and both earned all-WIAC first-team honors. … Oshkosh averages 65.3 points per game and allows only 50.2 per game after holding opponents to 50 or fewer points 14 times. The Titans lead Division III in fewest turnovers with 10.8 per game. Abby Kaiser earned WIAC all-defensive honors. … Coach Brad Fischer’s Titans are making their 17th NCAA III tournament appearance and have gone 31-14, winning at least one game in each of their last 14 trips. They reached the Sweet Sixteen in 2014, 2017, 2019 and 2020. Under coach Kathi Bennett, the Titans went 31-0 and won the national championship in 1996, after finishing as runner-up in 1995. … The Titans went to Indianola, Iowa, last week and beat No. 18 Wisconsin Lutheran 48-42 (holding the Warriors scoreless over the last six minutes) and fourth-ranked Simpson College 64-56.
Baldwin-Wallace—The Yellowjackets are led by all-Ohio Athletic Conference first-team pick Lilly Edwards, a 5-10 senior forward who averages 17.5 ppg, 8.7 rpg and 1.7 assists per game. She is shooting 53% from the field and 80.6% from the free-throw line. Megan Hensel, a 5-10 senior guard, averages 8.3 ppg and Megan Scheibelhut, a 6-2 senior forward, averages 6.1 ppg. … The team averages 67.6 points and allows 51.1 points per game. Baldwin-Wallace frequently goes 11 players deep in its rotation. … Coach Cheri Harrer’s Yellowjackets are in the NCAA III tournament for the 16th time, and are in the Sweet Sixteen for the sixth time. The Yellowjackets, from Berea, Ohio, made it to the Sweet Sixteen in 2020 before the tournament was canceled. … Last week, Baldwin-Wallace went to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and beat Salisbury and No. 25 Gettysburg by identical scores of 66-54.