National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division III postseason basketball returns to Kolf Sports Center when the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh women host Saint Mary’s University (Minn.) Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m.
The Oshkosh Regional also includes a game between the University of Northwestern-St. Paul (Minn.) and Washington University (Mo.) Friday at 4:30 p.m. Friday’s winners will face off Saturday, March 8 at 7 p.m. in Kolf Sports Center.
Champions of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament, UW Oshkosh (24-3) is making its 11th appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship, but its first since 2000. The Titans own a 21-9 record in the event, winning the 1996 national title and placing second in 1995.
Sarah Stecker leads a balanced offense with 11.9 points per game. UW Oshkosh also gets 10.3 points from Katelyn Kuehl and 10.1 from Taylor Schmidt. Kuehl leads the Titans with 7.4 rebounds per game, while Ashley Neustifter ranks second in the league with 99 assists. UW Oshkosh allows just 54 points with a rebounding margin of +6.0 per contest.
Saint Mary’s University (24-3), making its third NCAA trip, received an at-large berth out of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). The Cardinals’ last two defeats came to the University of St. Thomas (Minn.), including a 71-58 loss in the championship game of the MIAC Tournament. Saint Mary’s University rattled off 16 consecutive wins from Dec. 7 - Feb. 5 and captured the MIAC’s regular-season title.
The Cardinals have used the same starting lineup for all 27 games this season. Courtney Euerle tops the team with 13.4 points and 7.4 rebounds per game. Euerle also leads the squad with 32 blocks, while Bridget Pethke has 124 assists. Saint Mary’s University outscores its foes by an average of 72-58.
Washington University (23-2) is the University Athletic Association champion. The Bears have played in eight of the last 16 national title games, winning the crown in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2010. Washington University holds a 62-22 record in its previous 25 NCAA tournaments.
University of Northwestern-St. Paul (20-7) clinched its first NCAA berth by defeating the University of Minnesota-Morris, 71-33, in the championship game of the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Tournament. The Eagles rank fourth nationally with 9.3 three-pointers per game.
The most recent D3hoops.com rankings have Washington University fifth, UW Oshkosh 14th and Saint Mary’s University 17th.
Daily ticket prices are $9 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students. Children ages 2 and under will be admitted free.
UW Oshkosh last hosted an NCAA women’s basketball tournament game in Kolf Sports Center during 1996, when the Titans defeated the University of Mount Union (Ohio), 66-50, for the championship in front of a Division III-record 4,001 fans.