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College women's basketball: 'Jackets sink in Whitewater

Wisconsin-Superior expected a more competitive contest this time around in the NCAA Division III women's basketball tournament but was outmuscled 81-46 by host Wisconsin-Whitewater in the first round Friday night before 1,129 at Kachel Gymnasium.

Senior guard Brooke Trewyn had 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 17th-ranked Warhawks (25-3), while Malia Smith (15 points) and Olivia Freckmann (13) also scored in double figures. Whitewater, which has won 11 straight, used a 48-31 rebounding advantage to overcome 16 turnovers.

Junior forward Hannah Norlin had 17 points and 12 rebounds for her eighth double-double of the season to lead UWS (23-5). She was an efficient 8-for-14 from the floor, but the rest of the team struggled, shooting just 30.5 percent, including 0-for-9 from 3-point range. Three-time reigning UMAC player of the year Hailey Kontny, a senior from Superior, was next with nine points but was held scoreless in the first half and finished just 3-for-15 from the floor.

UWS shot 25 percent (8-for-32) in falling behind 37-18 at the half in a performance that was eerily similar to last year's NCAA playoff opener when the Yellowjackets ran into a buzzsaw in St. Thomas, which raced to a 50-13 halftime lead en route to a 98-56 win.

Kontny is one of five seniors who helped UWS win three straight UMAC regular-season and tournament titles. Counting tournament games, the Yellowjackets have gone 54-0 in UMAC action since joining the league in 2015 after leaving the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which includes Whitewater. Those seniors helped UWS go 89-22 over the past four years, the best stretch in program history.

Whitewater will host Gustavus Adolphus at 7 p.m. today in the second round.