Keri Carollo wanted her players to make life tough on a UW-La Crosse team with a bevy of offensive weapons.
They did just that, but it was Carollo’s UW-Whitewater team that truly flaunted its arsenal Wednesday night.
Four players scored in double figures—including a career-high 14 from Whitewater High graduate Rebekah Schumacher—and the No. 6-ranked Warhawks used a dominant second quarter to steamroll No. 20 UW-La Crosse, 73-47, at Kachel Gymnasium.
After losing for just the second time this season and first time in 15 games Saturday, UW-Whitewater bounced back in a big way, improving to 17-2 overall and 7-1 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The Eagles (14-5, 5-3) came in tied for second place.
“After our game at Oshkosh, we all knew we could play better than that,” said Schumacher, a junior guard.
“But we had to go out and prove it, and I think we did that tonight.”
Schumacher played a big role in the decisive second quarter, which saw Whitewater turn a four-point lead into 17 in a span of seven minutes.
UW-W led 18-14 after the first quarter but then scored the first nine points of the second. The Eagles did not make their first field goal in the second quarter until there was 3:43 remaining.
With the Warhawks up 29-17 at that point, Schumacher promptly buried a left-handed scoop shot in the lane and a 3-pointer to make it 34-17 with 2:47 left in the half.
“We just all share the ball well and are a very unselfish team,” Schumacher said of a Warhawks team that played nine different players at lead 14 minutes against the Eagles. “We were passing the ball well and shooting it well. And yeah, my shot felt good.”
The Warhawks were 13 of 29 from the field in the first half, including 4 of 10 from beyond the arc
La Crosse was just 8 of 28 and also made just 7 of 12 free-throw attempts. Leading scorer Dani Craig, who averages more than 12 points, was held scoreless in the first half and finished 1 of 6 for four points. No Eagles player scored in double figures. Janesville Craig grad Delaney Schoenenberger had seven points.
“This game shows what we can be,” Carollo said. “We defended pretty well and rebounded the ball much better tonight. La Crosse has so many weapons, so it’s hard because they can score in a lot of different ways. But one of our goals was to keep them off the free-throw line and to keep the momentum and flow of the game going.
“We got going a little bit in transition, and you can see that’s the way we like to play.”
Point guard Veronica Kieres had seven of her game-high 16 points in the third quarter as the Warhawks made sure the Eagles never got back in the game.
Lake Geneva Badger graduate Courtney Oomens delivered with 11 points in less than 15 minutes of action off the bench. Aleah Grundahl also had 11 and added five assists, and Johanna Taylor finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
All of those contributions meant leading scorer Becky Raeder did not need to have a big offensive night. She finished with five points but had four assists and was tasked with guarding Craig for much of the night.
“That’s what’s awesome about it, we have so many people that one person can have a really big night and be in double digits, and the next night it’s a different person,” Raeder said. “We never worry about personal stats, we just worry about the final score.”
The lopsided final score against a nationally ranked team Tuesday night said plenty.
With the weekend off, the Warhawks might even relish it for an extra day. The return to action Wednesday at UW-Stevens Point.
WHITEWATER 73, LA CROSSE 47
La Crosse (47)—Steiner 2-2-6, Higgins 3-2-8, Kramer 1-2-4, Craig 1-1-4, Schoenenberger 2-3-7, Fitzgerald 2-0-5, Gilles 3-0-6, Jackoyo 2-0-5, Warmsley 1-0-2. Totals: 17-10-47.
Whitewater (73)—Grundahl 4-3-11, Taylor 3-2-8, Raeder 2-0-5, R. Schumacher 6-0-14, Kieres 7-0-16, Sto. Domingo 1-0-2, Oomens 4-3-11, Belschner 0-2-2, Green 1-1-3, Johnson 0-1-1. Totals: 28-12-73.
UW-La Crosse 14 8 19 6—47
UW-Whitewater 18 18 21 16—73
3-point goals—La Crosse 3 (Craig, Fitzgerald, Jackoyo), Whitewater 5 (Schumacher 2, Kieres 2, Raeder). Free throws missed—La Crosse 8, Whitewater 2. Total fouls—La Crosse 18, Whitewater 17.