Last season, both basketball teams from UW-Whitewater made it to the Final Four, but only the men came away with a title. This season, the women came out ready to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
They tipped off the season at home against BR-13 Chicago, and walked off the court with a huge, 86-68 win. The first half was actually pretty even, as the two teams played to a 29-all tie after the first 15 minutes. Then the Warhawks got going. Well, Amanda Meinert got going.
The 5-foot-10 freshman forward, playing her first game for UW-Whitewater, had four points, two assists, two rebounds, and a steal in the final five minutes of the first half alone. She was integral to the Warhawks eight-point halftime lead. She finished the game with 11 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Not bad for a first outing.
Meinert was one of four Warhawks to score in double figures on the day, headlined by sophomore Reilly Stewart who lead all scorers with 20 points. Junior guard Abbie Reeves also got in on the scoring, putting up 12 of her 19 points in the second half alone. Ten of her 12 second-half points came from the charity stripe, where the Warhawks outscored the Maroons 30 to 17 on the day.
Ultimately, free throws and rebounds decided things. Whitewater had nearly as many offensive rebounds (21) as Chicago had total rebounds (29). Those second-chances opportunities were huge. They outscored Chicago 17-2 on second-chances.
The Warhawks moved up to BR-2 thanks to the win, and have a chance to take the top spot if they can keep playing like they did in the season-opener. Over the next three weeks, they’ll play BR-23 George Fox, BR-15 DePauw, BR-18 Illinois Wesleyan, and BR-7 UW-Oshkosh — plenty of chances to show us something. Our current number one team, Tufts, won’t face a BR Top 25 opponent until December 28, when they play BR-12 Scranton. They just won’t be able to hold their spot if Whitewater keeps this up.
Chicago dropped to BR-22 thanks to the loss, and will look to regroup against BR-39 Capital on Sunday.