Yellowjacket basketball teams sweep WhitewaterBoth UWW teams were nationally ranked heading into the series. The men were ranked 11th among Division III schools and the women were 15th.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s and women’s basketball teams pulled off a double upset, sweeping the UW-Whitewater Warhawks, Saturday at Mertz Mortorelli Gym.
Both UWW teams were nationally ranked heading into the series. The men were ranked 11th among Division III schools and the women were 15th.
The men opened play with a 69-66 victory, and the UWS women defeated Whitewater 67-59 to hand the Warhawks their first loss in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference this season.
“The men’s game was a huge precursor,” said UWS women’s coach Don Mulhern. “The men played great; they didn’t back down, and our girls saw that.
“Our team and the men’s team support each other. That was real good seeing that for what we needed to do. They set the bar.”
The Yellowjacket men (7-9, 3-4) led 32-29 at halftime and held off a late charge by UW-Whitewater (12-3, 5-2) to preserve the win.
UWW took a six-point lead about five minutes into the game and maintained that lead until the halfway point. A layup from Bronson Byrne tied the score at 17-17, and the score was tied three more times before UWS moved ahead by three on a last-second jumper by Johnquez Brooks.
In the second half, the Yellowjackets built a 10-point advantage and led 66-57 with 3:42 left to play. UWW then went on a 9-1 run to cut the lead to 67-65, and the Warhawks had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line with six seconds left.
The Warhawks ended up making just one of the free throws, and the Yellowjackets’ Jarrod Peterson closed out the game with a pair of free throws for the 69-66 win.
Peterson led UWS with 20 points and seven rebounds. Byrne added 16 points and Brendan Bauer had 15.
UWS plays at UW-River Falls at 7 p.m. today.
With the Yellowjackets trailing by six points at halftime, senior guard Connie Urmanski offered her teammates a pep talk.
She told them to seize the opportunity for a win — the first win for any of them against the Warhawks.
“Connie Urmanski said before we walked out ‘Ladies, let’s not be satisfied with being close,’” Mulhern said. “We came out and were not satisfied with being close. That’s a senior caring and the team listening.”
The Yellowjacket women trailed for all of the first half and were down 36-30 at halftime before coming back to take their first lead of the game at 7:39 in the second half.
Urmanski led the comeback with back-to-back baskets to tie the game at 52-52. Her first shot came from the left side with a defender in her face, and on the next possession Urmanski faked a 3-pointer and sunk the pull-up jumper.
Sally Linzmeier then gave Superior its first lead of the game when she spun around a defender in the paint and put in a layup.
From that point on the Yellowjackets outscored UW-Whitewater 13-7 to pick up their first win over the Warhawks since the 1997-98 season.
“It is a great feeling,” Urmanski said. “At halftime we talked about the last time we were that close at halftime with Whitewater; it was a long time ago — before any of us have been here.
“Our main thing this year is to be competitive and to play to win, not to keep close, and that was our mentality. We had a little rough start in the second half, but we came back and we pushed through it and worked as a team to come out on top.”
UWW began the second half with a 5-2 run to lead 41-32 at the 15:51 mark. Kristen Nett cut into the lead with a 3-pointer, and Linzmeier and Urmanski both followed with baskets inside to cap off a 7-0 run.
UWS tied the game at 44-44 about two minutes later, and the Yellowjackets maintained the momentum over the final 12 minutes of play.
“I just think that Superior did a fantastic job of taking it at us,” said Warhawks coach Keri Carollo. “They really outworked us around the basket, and they did a great job getting the ball to Sally Linzmeier, who is a tough match-up for us. She just really took over the game.”
Linzmeier and Urmanski both finished with 23 points to lead UWS. Linzmeier also had 16 rebounds for the game, including six on the offensive boards.
Both players stayed in the game for the full 20 minutes in the second half.
“This program is on the ascent, and this is a part of the process of the ascent,” Mulhern said. “We have many more places to go, but let’s face it, this is a really big step toward where we’re going.”
The win was Mulhern’s first against Whitewater since taking over as head coach in 2006. The Warhawks have qualified for the NCAA Division III playoffs the past five seasons, and during that stretch outscored UWS by an average of more than 30 points per game.
The Warhawks also averaged 87.6 points per game against the Yellowjackets during that span but fell far short of that number Saturday. The Warhawks shot just 27.6 percent from the field in the second half and 30.2 percent for the game.
“I think our shot selection was a little in question,” Carollo said. “For us to only score 59 points, you know you’re not going to win many games not scoring at least in the sixties. So they (UWS) did a great job defensively.”
Courtney Kumerow led UW-Whitewater (12-4, 6-1) with 13 points, followed by Mary Merg with 11 and Megan Theune with 10.
The Yellowjacket women are now in a three-way tie for second place in the WIAC with UW-Oshkosh and UW-Stevens Point. All three schools have identical 5-2 marks in the conference and 13-3 records overall.
UWS (13-3, 5-2) is back in action today with a 7 p.m. home game against UW-River Falls.
’JACKET JOTTINGS: The last time the UWS women swept Whitewater in the regular season was 1991-92. The Yellowjackets, under the leadership of coach Jim Stukel, defeated the Warhawks 85-80 at Superior and 78-72 at Whitewater. … The UWW women defeated UWS twice in the regular season and in the first round of the WIAC playoffs last season. … Urmanski now sits seventh on the UWS women’s all-time scoring list (1,042) and is third all-time in assists (242). She is second all-time in free throw percentage (.852) and holds the record for three pointers made (177). … Senior Hillary Peterson sits fourth in career blocks with 50, five behind Melissa Annis for third place.
UW-SUPERIOR 67, UW-WHITEWATER 59
Kumerow, Courtney 4-8 5-5 13; Merg, Mary 4-12 2-2 11; Theune, Megan 4-8 1-2 10; Thill, Kaitlyn 1-11 5-7 7; Reeves, Abbie 2-9 0-0 6; McCullick, Emily 3-4 0-0 6; Palmer, Lisa 1-1 0-0 2; Mandrell, Amy 0-1 2-2 2; Quandt, Sam 0-6 2-2 2; Glynn, Steff 0-1 0-0 0; Burton, Katie 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-63 17-20 59.
Sally Linzmeier 6-17 11-14 23; Urmanski,Connie 9-12 2-4 23; Nett,Kristen 3-10 0-1 7; Lindberg,Allyssa 2-4 2-2 6; Peterson,Hillary 2-4 0-0 4; Blake,Britnee 1-1 1-3 3; Mcdonald,Kailee 0-4 1-2 1; Lebens,Vanessa 0-0 0-0 0; Watson,Carmen 0-2 0-0 0; Kennedy,Grace 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 17-26 67.
3-point goals—UWW 4-21 (Reeves, 2-8; Theune, 1-3; Merg, Mary 1-4; Quandt, 0-2; Thill, 0-4), UWS 4-10 (Urmanski, 3-5; Nett, 1-3; Linzmeier 0-2). Fouled out—None. Rebounds—UWW 38 (Kumerow, 10), UWS 44 (Linzmeier 16). Assists—UWW 7 (Thill, 3), UWS 12 (Linzmeier 6). Total fouls—UWW 21, UWS 16. Technical fouls—None. A-220
UW-SUPERIOR 69, UW-WHITEWATER 66
Knoble, Luke 7-13 7-8 21; Young, Quardell 4-12 3-4 11; Harris, Darnell 3-9 2-3 9; Bryson, Eric 2-6 2-2 7; Evans, KJ 2-5 2-3 6; Hearn, Reggie 2-3 2-2 6; Merg, Alex 1-2 4-4 6; Fischer, Charlie 0-0 0-0 0; Souter, Patrick 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 21-51 22-26 66.
Peterson, Jarrod 6-9 6-7 20; Byrne, Bronson 7-8 2-2 16; Bauer, Brendan 6-10 3-4 15; Cahill, Austin 2-3 0-0 5; Corry, Aaron 1-5 3-4 5; Brooks, Johnquez 1-4 2-3 4; Davis, Trent 0-5 2-2 2; Charlton, Walter 1-1 0-0 2; Schreiner, Cole 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 24-46 18-22 69.
3-point goals—UWW 2-12 (Bryson, 1-3; Harris, 1-5; Merg, 0-1; Souter, 0-1; Young, 0-2), UWS 3-10 (Peterson, 2-4; Cahill, 1-1; Corry, 0-1; Brooks, 0-1; Davis, 0-3). Fouled out—UWW-Bryson, UWS-Brooks. Rebounds—UWW 23 (Harris, 5), UWS 32 (Peterson, 7). Assists—UWW 2 (Knoble, 1; Merg, 1), UWS 10 (Brooks, 3). Total fouls—UWW 21, UWS 20. Technical fouls—None. A-212.