Finlandia women throttled by Oshkosh

HANCOCK — Coming off a long road trip, the last thing the Finlandia University women’s basketball team needed to see was a powerful UW-Oshkosh squad.

Ranked fifth in the national Division III polls, the Titans roared into Paavo Nurmi Gym Saturday afternoon and showed why they’re rated so high.

“That was a very good basketball team,” FU coach John Motherwell said after his team dropped a 93-46 verdict. “They’re tall and they’re deep. We knew rebounding would be our Achilles heel. But we hung in there and gave them a battle for a half.”

Finlandia, 0-7 so far, narrowly missed recording its first win of the season last week at Whittier College, losing by three points.

But going against a power-packed UW-Oshkosh was another story.

“They’re not ranked fifth in the country without a reason,” Motherwell commented. “They take out a couple of girls 5-foot-11 and bring in a couple of the 6-footers. We would trade for one of those tall kids.”

The Titans have rolled over most of their first six foes by large scores, usually ending the game in the first quarter.

But the Lions were down by just a 21-13 score after the opening frame Saturday.

“I thought we stayed with them for a quarter and a half before they wore us down,” Motherwell said.

The Wisconsin team kept increasing the lead after grabbing a 45-26 halftime advantage.

Taylor Pertile (Hancock) and Lela Horne paced the Finlandia scoring with nine points apiece, while Molly Berg (Hancock) and Kelsie Richards (Houghton) split 14 more. Dollar Bay High product Julia Daavettila grabbed eight rebounds.

The 7-0 Titans received ten points each from Karsyn Reuth, Olivia Campbell and Melanie Staple.

Finlandia now heads out on the road, meeting Webster College on Tuesday and Northland College on Thursday.