Katie Kitzke's (Jr. • South Milwaukee) 10-foot runner trickled in at the buzzer to give UW-Oshkosh a 65-63 women's basketball victory over St. Norbert College on Tuesday (Dec. 20) in Kolf Sports Center.
The Titans tied the score at 63 on the first of Megan Wenig's (Jr. • Oshkosh) two free-throw attempts with 31 seconds remaining. Wenig then retrieved the rebound of her second free throw to set up UW-Oshkosh's winning possession. Following a time out with 12 seconds left, Kitzke drove the lane and tossed up her shot just before the clock expired. The ball circled the rim before falling to end UW-Oshkosh's four-game losing streak.
In a contest that featured 18 lead changes and nine ties, the squads were even at 57 with 3:23 remaining. Krista Pelky connected from three-point range to put St. Norbert College (7-3) in front. The Titans (6-4) then got two free throws and a three-point play by Kelsey Myklebust (Sr. • Wisconsin Dells) to take a 62-60 advantage. Jamie Kuhl answered with a three-point play to give the Green Knights their one-point margin with 58 seconds left.
Kitzke scored a game-high 17 points, while Wenig totaled nine points and a career-best eight assists. The Titans also received 15 points and five rebounds from Myklebust and 10 points and five rebounds from Nichole Paisar (Fr. • Leopolis).
UW-Oshkosh made 50 percent (21-42) of its shots from the field and 74.1 percent (20-27) of its attempts from the free-throw line. The Titans were 3-of-12 shooting (25 percent) from the three-point area.
Pelky, who tallied all 16 of her points in the second half, led St. Norbert College in scoring. She also grabbed five rebounds and dished off two assists. The Green Knights, who lost for just the 20th time in 115 games, also received 12 points and nine rebounds from Tasha Giese and 10 points and five rebounds from Kuhl.
St. Norbert College finished the game shooting 37.7 percent (23-61) from the field after marking 24.2-percent (8-33) accuracy in the first half. The Green Knights made 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) free throws and 3-of-10 (30 percent) three-point shots. St. Norbert College, a NCAA Division III postseason tournament qualifier the past two seasons, committed just seven turnovers while winning the rebounding battle, 34-32.
UW-Oshkosh opened the game with stifling defense, holding the Green Knights to just 3-of-17 shooting from the field. The Titans went on a 12-2 scoring run to take a 14-7 lead midway through the half. Four different players made a basket during the stretch, including a long-range connection by Paisar.
Giese helped St. Norbert College remain within striking distance. She buried two lay-ups and three free throws to cut the Green Knights' deficit to 23-20 with 1:36 left in the opening half.
St. Norbert College took a 28-27 lead with 17 minutes to play. Pelky increased that advantage to 35-31 with a three-point basket. The game was tight the rest of the way, as Kitzke and Paisar hit clutch three-point bombs to put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 41-39, with 11:38 left.
St. Norbert College played without head coach Connie Tilley, who missed her first game in 35 years at the helm of the women's basketball program - a span of 822 games. Tilley had surgery earlier Tuesday in Green Bay to repair a broken wrist suffered in an icy fall Dec. 10 while on a road trip in Galesburg, Ill.
UW-Oshkosh clashes with 10th-ranked Washington University (Mo.) on Dec. 29 in Waverly, Iowa.