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UW-Whitewater men hold off River Falls in tourney opener

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Gazette Staff
February 25, 2009
— This is why coach Pat Miller and his UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team wanted a first-round bye in the WIAC tournament.

The Warhawks built a 21-point lead by halftime, but then had to sweat out a UW-River Falls second-half rally to beat the visiting Falcons, 86-81, in a quarterfinal game Tuesday night.


The Warhawks (22-4) play at second-seeded UW-Platteville in a semifinal game Thursday night. Whitewater lost at Platteville, 86-78, in the regular season, but beat the Pioneers at home.


Platteville earned a first-round bye in the tournament by winning the tie-breaker after the Pioneeer shared second place with Whitewater in the regular season.


The No. 3-seeded Warhawks looked as if they would be able to rest the regulars in the second half against River valley when they took a 49-28 lead in the first 20 minutes.


The Falcons did not allow the Warhawks that luxury. They cut the lead to nine with 14:44 left, then went on an 8-0 run to get within two points, 65-63, with 7:07 left.


Whitewater stepped on the gas with seven straight points and still led, 82-72, with 1:18 left.


The Falcons (11-15) had one last charge. Danny Johnson’s three-point basket got the Falcons to within 84-81 with 14 seconds left.


Matt Goodwin then put the game out of reach with two free throws with eight seconds left.


Goodwin finished with 25 points. The senior guard had 17 in the first half.


Whitewater made 31 of 39 free throws. Goodwin was 12 of 15 from the line.


Myles McKay added 19 points, including seven of eight free throws.


Phil Negri and Kori Vernon each had 12 points. Vernon added eight rebounds, while Billy Kolinske had four assists and three steals.


WHITEWATER 86, RIVER FALLS 81


River Falls (81)—Anderson, 3-6 0-0 8; Koonkaew, 4-9 2-3 10; Hannigan, 0-1 2-2 2; Voeltz, 5-10 10-10 20; Farmer, 3-8 3-5 9; Elling, 0-0 3-4 3; Shelman, 3-5 0-0 9; Utke, 1-5 0-0 3; Johnson, 6-10 0-0 17. Totals: 25-54 20-24 81.


Whitewater (86)—Goodwin 6-11 12-15 25; Negri, 3-4 4-4 12; McKay, 6-12 7-8 19; Vernon, 5-10 2-4 12; Kolinske, 1-2 2-2 4; Kingsby, 1-2 1-2 3; Mitchell, 1-3 0-1 2; Vines, 3-3 3-4 9. totals: 26-47 31-39 86.


UW-River Falls 28 53—81


UW-Whitewater 49 37—86


Three-point shooting—River Falls 11-22 (Anderson 2-4, Koonkaew 0-2, Hannigan 0-1, Shelman 3-4, Utke 1-3, Johnson 5-8), Whitewater 3-8 (Goodwin 1-3, Negri 2-2, Mckay 0-2, Kolinske 0-1). Rebounds—River Falls 26 (Voeltz 7), Whitewater 27 (Vernon 8). Assists—River Falls 16 (Anderson 5), Whitewater 18 (Kolinske and Vines, 4 each). Total fouls—River Falls 29, Whitewater 18.


n Oshkosh 75, Eau Claire 60—UW-Oshkosh made its first five three-point shots to build a 27-5 en route to its WIAC tournament quarterfinal win at home against UW-Eau Claire.


The Titans (16-10) advance to meet UW-Stevens Point (21-4) in the semifinal round on Thursday in Stevens Point.


D.J. Marsh posted his WIAC-leading 10th double-double of the season. He had 23 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Dane Seckar-Anderson added 14 points and Cory Wittwer had 12.


UW-Eau Claire, which lost to the Titans for the 16th straight time in Oshkosh, was led by Colin Boone’s 18 points.



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