Sarah Stecker marked a career-high 26 points and put UW-Oshkosh ahead for good in a 75-68 overtime triumph against UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday (Jan. 15) in Kolf Sports Center.
The Titans, ranked 19th by D3hoops.com, improved their record to 14-1 (5-1 WIAC). The 23rd-ranked Pointers fell to 11-4 (4-2 WIAC).
The intense contest featured eight ties and 11 lead changes. UW-Oshkosh trailed, 62-58, with 36 seconds left in regulation. Taylor Schmidt then penetrated and dished to Stecker, who sank the lay-up while getting fouled. Stecker added the free throw to pull within one.
Heavy defensive pressure allowed Schmidt to steal the ball and call timeout with 0:26 remaining. Katelyn Kuehl followed by making 1-of-2 free throws to send the game to overtime tied at 62.
On UW-Oshkosh's first possession of overtime, Ashley Neustifter found Stecker in the lane for another lay-up and a 64-62 lead. The momentum peaked on the next trip, when Morgan Kokta's three-pointer bounced on the rim three times before falling to make it 67-62 with 3:49 left.
The Titans made 8-of-12 free throws to seal the game. Meanwhile, UW-Stevens Point went 0-for-5 at the charity stripe during the extra session.
Stecker grabbed nine rebounds while finishing 8-for-9 on free throws. Schmidt filled up the box score with 12 points, five rebounds and five steals. UW-Oshkosh also gained seven points and seven rebounds from Kuehl and seven points with six rebounds from Kokta.
During the opening seven minutes, the Titans struggled with seven turnovers and 1-for-9 shooting. Autumn Hennes drilled a pair of three-pointers, giving UW-Stevens Point a 14-7 lead midway through the first half.
UW-Oshkosh continued to play tight defense and went on a scoring binge right before intermission. Maggie Novak swished a three-ball to pull within 28-24. Stecker added an inside hoop, helping cut the deficit to 29-26 at halftime.
Schmidt had an explosive 15-second sequence during the second period. First, she nailed a three-pointer from the left wing. Moments later, Schmidt stole the ball and went the distance for a lay-up that gave the Titans a 37-36 lead.
A Stecker basket increased UW-Oshkosh's margin to 52-48 with 6:44 remaining, but the Pointers rallied back. Jenna Pitt sank four free throws before Lauren Anklam made a lay-in that provided UW-Stevens Point with a 56-52 cushion at the 4:20 mark.
During the final 4:04 of regulation, Stecker tallied nine points on three buckets and three free throws.
UW-Oshkosh finished with 39 percent (25-65) shooting overall, including 23 percent from long range (5-22), and 69 percent accuracy at the foul line (20-29). Against the top rebounding team in the WIAC, the Titans came away with a 48-37 win on the boards.
The Pointers were led by 13 points from both Hennes and Alyssa Olp. Myranda Tyler posted 10 rebounds, nine points and five steals for UW-Stevens Point, which hit 42 percent (25-59) from the field, 67 percent (4-6) behind the arc and just 52 percent on free throws (14-27).
The Titans open a two-game road trip at UW-Stout on Saturday (Jan. 18).