History in the making’Jackets cruise; Linzmeier, Urmanski set team records
By: Ken Olson, Superior Telegram
The University of Wisconsin-Superior women’s basketball team enjoyed a record-setting evening during at Mertz Mortorelli Gym.
Not only did the Yellowjackets win their first ever home game in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament, with a 64-46 win over UW-River Falls, but sophomore Sally Linzmeier set the team’s single-season scoring record and senior Connie Urmanski played in her team record 102nd game.
The Yellowjackets now play at No. 1 UW-Whitewater in a semifinal game at 7 p.m. today. The No. 24-ranked Warhawks received a first-round bye, as did No. 2 UW-Oshkosh, which will host UW-Stevens Point, a 67-57 winner over UW-Eau Claire.
Linzmeier broke Sandy Eilertsen’s scoring record of 433 points with a pair of free throws with 12:23 remaining in the second half.
“That’s pure works ethic, staying after practice and working hard all the time,” UWS coach Donald Mulhern said. “She does it by being a team player. That’s the thing, she could care less about scoring. It’s all about winning.”
The P.A. announcer made notice of the accomplishment, but Linzmeier was more worried about winning the game and didn’t hear what was being said.
“I did what? I honestly didn’t even know,” Linzmeier said. “It feels good, because we got the win, that’s for sure. That’s all we wanted, we stress team all the time.
“We’ve struggled the past couple of games, but tonight we came together as a team. That’s how we won this game, and that’s how we’re going to continue to win.”
While Linzmeier battled foul trouble to score 13 points and grab six rebounds, Urmanski led the way with a game-high 16 points.
Carmen Watson came off the bench to score 10 points and grab six rebounds, and Deandra Vavra chipped in with seven points and four assists.
“Balanced scoring is what makes us a strong team,” Urmanski said. “In the past, maybe two or three people would score, but now we have our five starters and then a number of players that come off the bench and score at will.”
Brittany Gregorich led River Falls with 11 points and nine rebounds. Tess Lueders added 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots.
UWS trailed 3-0 and took its first lead, 8-6, on an Urmanski basket and Vavra free throw with 12:19 left in the first half.
After a tie at 8-8, the Yellowjackets took the lead for good on a Kristen Nett basket and a 3-pointer by Urmanski.
“We couldn’t get the ball to fall at the beginning, but our biggest thing this year is that we keep each other up, believe in each other, encourage each other, and that’s what we did,” Urmanski said. “Then our defense got us through that rough spot of shooting and we pulled through.”
The Falcons managed to get within 15-12, before the Yellowjackets gradually pulled away for a 29-17 lead at the half on a Linzmeier three-point play.
The ’Jackets started the second half with a 13-2 run for a 42-19.
Linzmeier’s record-setting free throws were followed by a Watson basket that gave the Yellowjackets their largest lead of the game, 48-25, with 11 minutes left.
Gregorich scored six straight points for River Falls, but at the same time Urmanski scored six straight for UWS, including a jumper in the lane and an under-hand layup.
River Falls managed to get within 15 points (61-46) before Superior’s Sarah Petznick scored to make the final score 63-46.
“I am very happy for that group of young ladies,” Mulhern said. “This is joy in the highest sense because they have worked very hard. This was one of our big goals, they worked hard in the offseason and we got great leadership from our seniors. I’m at a loss of words because I know how muck hard work they put in to make this happen.”
Urmanski became the all-time leader in games played when she played her 101st on Saturday at UW-La Crosse.
“This is the best one ever,” Urmanski said of game 102. “This was great, we’ve come a long way from my freshman year. I know a lot of the younger girls don’t see that, but the seniors know it so it’s awesome to have our first playoff game here and come out with the win.”
’JACKET JOTTINGS: UWS split with Whitewater this season, winning 67-59 at home and losing 82-66 on the road. … The Yellowjackets also at home in the postseason when they defeated UW-La Crosse 90-66 in a WIAC play-in game in 2000. The ’Jackets lost the next game at UW-Eau Claire, 92-23. … Kailee McDonald moved into a tie for third place on the games played list with 99, and Hillary Peterson cracked the top 10 in games played with 94. ... Friday’s game will be carried live on KUWS 91.3 FM. … Eilertsen scored 433 points during the 1985-86 season. She is also the team’s all-time leading scorer with 1,300 points scored from 1983-87.
UW-River Falls (14-11)
Brittany Gregorich 3-10 5-7 11; Tess Lueders 4-12 2-2 10; Nikki Guhr 3-11 0-0 6; Jamie Kenealy 2-2 2-2 6; Emily Larson 1-3 2-2 5; Jessie Van Wyhe 1-11 2-3 4; Richell Mehus 1-7 1-3 3; Hailey Siegle 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 15-63 15-21 46.
Connie Urmanski 7-13 0-0 16; Sally Linzmeier 4-6 5-5 13; Carmen Watson 5-10 0-0 10; Deandra Vavra 1-4 5-6 7; Kristen Nett 2-6 0-0 4; Grace Kennedy 2-2 0-0 4; Kailee McDonald 1-2 1-1 3; Hillary Peterson 1-5 0-0 2; Sarah Petznick 1-1 0-0 2; Vanessa Lebens 0-0 1-2 1; Molly Atherton 0-2 1-2 1; Britnee Blake 0-2 0-1 0. Totals 24-53 13-19 63.
UW-River Falls 17-29—46
3-pointers—UWRF 1-20 (Larson 1-1; Lueders 0-3; Guhr 0-2; Van Wyhe 0-6; Mehus 0-4; Siegle 0-1; Elles 0-2; Gregorich 0-1), UWS 2-6 (Urmanski 2-4; Nett 0-1; Blake 0-1). Rebounds—UWRF 44 (Gregorich 9), UWS 38 (Linzmeier 6; Watson 6). Assists—UWRF 10, UWS 11 (Vavra 4). Total fouls—UWRF 16, UWS 23.