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Titans Thrash Scots

Abby Kaiser (#2) recorded career bests of 11 points and 4 rebounds against Alma College.
Abby Kaiser (#2) recorded career bests of 11 points and 4 rebounds against Alma College.

Leah Porath scored 18 of her career-high 29 points during the third quarter as the UW-Oshkosh women's basketball team routed Alma College, 85-42, Monday (Nov. 25) in Alma, Mich.

UW-Oshkosh (3-3) produced runs of 14 and 19 consecutive points on the way to building a 56-24 lead early in the third quarter. The Titans then held the Scots to three points during the final period while scoring 11 of their own.

The Titans' string of 14 unanswered points turned an 11-9 deficit into a 23-11 lead early in the second quarter. UW-Oshkosh later scored 19 points in a row, including six apiece from Porath and Nikki Arneson, to extend its cushion to 56-24 with 9:28 left in the third quarter.

Porath shot 12 of 19 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point range, and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds before exiting the game early in the fourth quarter. Porath, averaging a team-best 21.5 points per contest, entered the day leading Division III with a .737 3-point percentage on the year. She eclipsed her previous career high of 26 points on a layup as part of a three-point play that upped the Titan lead to 74-39 with 14 seconds left in the third period.

Abby Kaiser added a career-best 11 points for the Titans, who also received a career-high 10 points from Brooke Freitag and another 10 points and a game-best five assists from Arneson. Kaiser went 5-for-6 from the field while Freitag, who also contributed five rebounds, was 3-for-4 from the floor and 2-for-2 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Eleven Titans contributed points, including starters Karsyn Rueth and Katie Ludwig with seven and six, respectively, and reserve Emily Higgins with five. The Titan bench accounted for 33 points and 19 rebounds in a combined 81 minutes played.

UW-Oshkosh concluded the game shooting 47.1 percent (32-68) from the field, 34.6 percent (9-26) from 3-point range and 92.3 percent (12-13) at the free throw line. The Titans owned advantages of 41-33 in rebounds, 13-5 in assists, 4-16 in turnovers and 5-1 in steals.

The Titans, who have shot better than 84 percent from the charity stripe four times this season, matched their fewest turnovers in a game since at least the 1990-91 campaign. UW-Oshkosh went into Monday ranked ninth in the country with 11.8 turnovers per game on the year.

Alma College (4-3), which suffered its first home loss of the season, shot 31.4 percent (16-51) from the floor, 23.1 percent (3-13) from behind the 3-point line and 63.6 percent (7-11) at the foul line.

Madison Hill paced the Scots with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Alma College claimed its lone lead of the game at 11-9 following a Hill layup at the 3:10 mark of the opening quarter, but UW-Oshkosh responded with 14 points in a row during a stretch of nearly four minutes spanning the first two periods. Emily Miller made a pair of free throws to tie the score at 11 before the Titans reclaimed the lead to stay at 13-11 on a Porath layup with 1:49 left in the first quarter. The UW-Oshkosh run continued with jumpers from Porath and Rueth, a Kaiser three-point play and a Rueth 3-pointer for a 23-11 Titan advantage until Emily Long ended the Scots' scoreless drought with a 3-pointer less than a minute into the second quarter.

UW-Oshkosh shot 80 percent from the floor during the second period, connecting on 12 of 15 field goal attempts, each of its four 3-pointers and both of its two free throws on the way to a 50-24 lead at intermission. Arneson led the Titans' 30-point, second-period outburst with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting from the field and two assists. UW-Oshkosh's 50 points in the first half and 30-point second period were both season highs.

The Titans held a 37-24 lead until rattling off 19 unanswered points between the 3:34 mark of the second quarter and 7:23 mark of the third. UW-Oshkosh's 19-point run increased it cushion to 56-24 as the Scots missed four straight field goal attempts and committed three turnovers during the span.

Porath then poured in 18 of UW-Oshkosh's 24 points in the third quarter, shooting 7 of 9 from the field, 2-for-2 from beyond the 3-point arc and 2-for-2 at the free throw line during the period. Porath, the reigning U.S. Basketball Writers Association Division III Women's Player of the Week, opened the quarter with a layup and a four-point play before adding two more layups and a 3-pointer ahead of three-point play that provided the Titans a 74-39 cushion entering the final period.

Alma College, which suffered its most lopsided regular season defeat since the 2017-18 season, went 1-for-13 from the field over the final 13 minutes Monday.

The meeting between Alma College and UW-Oshkosh was the first since a 47-38 Titan victory Dec. 29, 2008, in Springfield, Ohio.

UW-Oshkosh, which entered Monday with three straight losses, avoided its first four-game skid since head coach Brad Fischer took over the program prior to the 2012-13 campaign. Fischer's Titans and UW-Whitewater remain the only WAC programs to not suffer a four-game losing streak over the past eight seasons.

The Titans are idle until hosting Lawrence University on Sunday (Dec. 1) in Kolf Sports Center.

Photo courtesy of Alma College Sports Information