The No. 25-ranked Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball team trailed by double digits early in the fourth quarter before a late rally fell short in a 62-60 loss to No. 20 Wisconsin-Whitewater on Tuesday at Whitewater, Wis.
The Titans outscored Whitewater 18-11 in the final period before the Warhawks were able to turn back the rally to drop IWU's record to 2-1.
The Titans made 31.1 percent (19-of-61) of their shots from the field with an aggressive Whitewater defense clogging the lane. Meanwhile, IWU coach Mia Smith was not pleased with the Titans' defensive effort.
"We have to approach it with more intensity, better desire, a more hungry desire to get stops on defense," Smith said.
IWU led 31-27 at halftime before being outscored 24-11 in the third quarter.
"We didn't come out (in the second half) with any intensity at all," Smith said.
Rebekah Ehresman led IWU with 14 points while also adding seven rebounds, three assists and two steals before fouling out. Freshman Kendall Sosa, an NCHS grad, added 12 points with Maddie Merritt chipping in 11 points and six rebounds.
Whitewater's Camri Conley also fouled out, but not before scoring a game-high 15 points. Andrea Meinert had 10 boards for Whitewater (3-0), which outrebounded the Titans by 11.
"One of the issues we talked about before the game was we had to win the rebound war and we got beat 48-37," Smith said. "In a two-point ballgame, that was probably the difference."
Gauthier nets Diver of the Week: IWU's Amber Gauthier was selected as the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin Diver of the Week. The sophomore had pair of fourth-place finishes at the Illinois Wesleyan Invitational on Saturday.
Reneau's 41 points lift women: Senior guard Hayley Reneau poured in a career-high 41 points, while Kennedy Dura contributed 20 points and 11 assists as the Eureka College women raced to a 91-78 nonconference victory over visiting Monmouth.