Whitewater earns the "W", Loras the "L" in season opener
Wed, Nov. 18, 2009 - [Women's Basketball]

The Loras College women's basketball team dropped the 2009-10 season opener to the UW-Whitewater Warhawks on Tuesday night in the AWC, 89-75. The Duhawks shot a respectable 46.2% from the field, but the visitors countered with a midseason-looking 51.5% of their own - and it certainly didn't help that the Warhawks opened the game on a 20-2 run.

Once the Duhawks settled into their offensive sets and rebounded the ball better, they were able to cut into the Whitewater lead in spurts. The halftime lead was 16 points and, in then end, the final difference was 14 in favor of the visitors from Wisconsin.

The Duhawks were led in the scoring column by junior Sarah Pillon who scored 15 points on 4-of-9 shooting (including 3-of-5 from behind the arc). Pillon added five rebounds and two assists in her 19 minutes. Senior guard Lindsay Bava added 12 points on 4-of-10 shooting.

Among the newcomers to pitch in for Loras was Katie Wheeler (pictured), who tallied 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists in her Duhawks debut off the bench. Other first year players chipping in included starter Melissa Herrmann, Niki Rivera, Brittney Cato, Brit Kent, and Lindsey LaBadie. The fresh faces combined to score 27 points, grab 12 rebounds, and hand out seven assists.

USA Today #13-ranked UW-Whitewater used the 1-2 punch of Nicole Bundy and Dana Thompson to score 54 of their 89 points. Bundy shot an impressive 6-for-8 from behind the arc and Thompson was 10-of-14 from the free throw line to help boost her total. No other Warhawk was in double figures.

Whitewater also pressured the Duhawks into 13 first half (and 27 total) turnovers, often extending their defense into a full court press after made baskets. The Duhawks countered with a press of their own as they tried to get back in the game on the scoreboard and did benefit from 21 turnovers by the visitors.

Loras heads to Lake Forest College north of Chicago for this weekend's Tip Off Tournament hosted by the Foresters. The Duhawks will play Concordia-Wisconsin at 6:00 PM on Friday night. The Duhawks return home to the AWC on December 5 for a 2:00 PM tip with the Buena Vista Beavers.