AP NEWS

UW-W women reach championship

December 30, 2016 GMT

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The No. 16 ranked UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team used strong defense and rebounding Thursday in a 71-54 victory over Case Western Reserve (Ohio) on the first day of the Marriott-Columbus Airport Holiday Tournament at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio.

With the win, the Warhawks (9-1 overall) advance to today’s tournament championship game, where they’ll face Capital at 4 p.m. Central Time.

UW-Whitewater scored the first six points of the game, led 23-10 after the first quarter and never trailed in the contest.

The Warhawks held the Spartans (7-3) to 34.5 percent shooting from the floor, including a 28.1 percent clip in the second half. They also outrebounded Case 48-33, including a 14-5 advantage on the offensive glass, which led to 14 second-chance points.

Senior guard Reilly Stewart tallied a career-high 24 points on 9-of-16 shooting coming off the bench. Junior forward Andrea Meinert collected 16 points, a team-best nine rebounds and two steals, and junior guard Malia Smith contributed 10 points, eight rebounds and two steals.

Junior guard Brooke Trewyn posted nine points and six rebounds, and sophomore forward Olivia Freckmann added seven points and six rebounds.

Case Western Reserve used a 9-0 run starting at the 3:36 mark of the second quarter to get to within one point of UW-Whitewater.

Smith hit a free throw and Stewart knocked down a 3-pointer with under a minute to play in the half to increase the lead to 35-30 by the half.

The Spartans stayed within one or two possessions for a majority of the third. Stewart and sophomore center Becky Deichl scored on back-to-back possessions late in the period to give the Warhawks a 47-41 advantage entering the fourth.

UW-Whitewater continued what ended up as an 11-0 run early in the final stanza to retake a double-digit lead.

Case Western Reserve drew to within six midway through the fourth, but the Warhawks registered the final 11 points of the game en route to the win.