Warhawk men defeat River Falls but lose No. 2
UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team won the battle Saturday, but lost the war.
The Warhawks got past host UW-River Falls, 72-68, to finish the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season with a 13-3 conference record.
Meanwhile, champion UW-Stevens Point lost to visiting UW-Platteville, 55-52. That left the Pioneers in a second-place tie with the Warhawks. Platteville earned the No. 2 seed for the WIAC tournament—and a first-round bye—based on the second tiebreaker.
Platteville and Whitewater were finished 1-1 against each other, which is the first tiebreaker. The Pioneers earned the second seed based on a better record vs. the fourth-place team. The Pioneers were 2-0 against UW-Oshkosh, while the Warhawks were 1-1.
The Warhawks’ loss against the Titans on Wednesday was controversial, since a timekeeper’s error at Oshkosh in the final seconds disrupted a Whitewater fast break that might have resulted in a winning basket.
The Warhawks play River Falls, the sixth-seed, in a first-round game at Williams Center at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
If that game is anything like Saturday’s game, it could be the type of grinder that Whitewater coach Pat Miller wanted to avoid by getting a first-round bye.
The Warhawks scored the first 10 points of Saturday’s game, but the Falcons stayed close until the end.
Myles McKay’s two free throws with :21 left put Whitewater ahead, 71-68. A three-point attempt by the Falcons’ Jake Voeltz rimmed out with two seconds left, and the Warhawks’ Kori Vernon was fouled on the rebound.
Vernon made one of two free throws for the final margin.
McKay finished with 29 points, including 22 in the second half. He was 11-of-12 from the line.
Chris Vines added 11 points.
Whitewater is 21-4. River Falls is 11-14 overall and 5-11 in the WIAC.
WHITEWATER 72, RIVER FALLS 68
Whitewater (72)—Goodwin 4-6 1-3 9, Negri 2-3 0-1 6, McKay 8-15 11-12 29, Vernon 3-10 3-5 9, Kolinske 0-2 0-0 0, Kingsby 2-3 1-2 6, Mitchell, 1-4 0-0 2, Vines, 4-5 3-5 11. Totals: 24-48 19-28 72.
River Falls (68)—Elling 2-7 0-0 5, Anderson 3-6 0-0 8, Koonkaew 7-18 4-4 19, Voeltz 4-12 3-3 11, Farmer 0-1 0-0 0, Shelman, 2-3 1-2 5, Utke, 1-4 3-3 5, Hanningan 3-5 0-2 7, Johnson, 2-5 2-2 8. Totals: 24-61 13-16 68.
UW-Whitewater 34 38—72
UW-River Falls 32 36—68
Three-point shooting—Whitewater 5-9 (Goodwin 0-1, Negri 2-2, McKay 2-5, Kingsby 1-1), River Falls 7-19 (Elling 1-3, Anderson 2-3, Koonkaew 1-4, Voeltz 0-2, Shelman 0-1, Utke 0-1, Hanningan 1-1, Johnson 2-4). Rebounds—Whitewater 36 (Goodwin, McKay, Kolinske, 6 each), River Falls 32 (Voeltz, Farmer, 5 each). Assists—Whitewater 12 (Negri 4), River Falls 13 (Koonkaew, Voeltz, 4 each). Total fouls—Whitewater 15, River Falls 17.
n Platteville 55, Stevens Point 52—Jeff Skemp scored 20 points, and Curt Hanson made two free throws and a steal in the final seconds to lead the Pioneer win.
The Pioneers wiped out a 26-15 with a 12-0 run in the first half. The Pointers (14-2, 21-4) led 26-15 before the Pioneers (13-3, 21-4) went on a 12-0 run. Stevens Point led at half, 29-27.
The Pioneers went ahead to stay early in the second half, but their biggest lead was only five points at 44-39.
The Pioneers never trailed again although their largest lead was just five points at 44-39.
The Pointers missed a shot that would have tied the score at 50-all with 21 seconds left. Stevens Point then stole the ball with four seconds left, but could not get off the potential game tying three-pointer.
n Oshkosh 78, Superior 72—D.J. Marsh, who scored the game-winning basket Wednesday night to beat Whitewater, scored the game-winning points with 37 second left to pull the Titans past the visiting Yellow Jackets.
Marsh led UW-Oshkosh with 26 points, 13 rebounds and four assists. It was his WIAC-leading ninth double-double of the season.
Coupled with UW-Eau Claire’s 89-75 loss to UW-Stout, the Titans earned the fourth seed for the WIAC Tournament and will host fifth-seed UW-Eau Claire at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
n Stout 89, Eau Claire 75—UW-Stout used 12 three-point goals to down the visiting Blugolds and send Eau Claire on the road for its first-round WIAC Tournament game.
The Blugolds fell to the fifth seed and will travel to Oshkosh on Tuesday for a first-round game.
Stout’s Eric Hostetter had a career-high 28 points, going 7-of-11 from the floor and knocking down 9-of-10 free throws.
Stout (8-17, 2-14) never trailed against Eau Claire (15-10, 8-8).