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UW-Whitewater wins wheelchair title

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Gazette Staff
March 14, 2009
— UW-Whitewater not only revenged its only loss of the season, it more importantly added its eighth National Intercollegiate Wheelchair basketball championship with an 82-76 victory over the University of Illinois at Williams Center on Saturday afternoon.

The national champs had to bounce back from a 37-33 halftime deficit to defeat their nemisis. The Illini handed the Warhawks (32-1) their lone defeat of the season.


Joe Chambers and Chris Okon led Whitewater, scoring 29 and 27 points respectively. Chambers scored 36 and 32 points in the Warhawks’ first two tournament victories.


Okon, who scored one basket in the Warhawks’ semifinal victory over Arizona on Friday, roared back with eight baskets, including five three-pointers. Chambers made 14 baskets and went 1-for-1 from three-point range.


Whitewater maded seven three-point baskets to Illinois’ two. The Warhawks made 15 of 19 free throws to six of 12 for Illinois.


Texas-Arlington finished third with a 63-55 victory over Arizona.


Alabama defeated Edinboro, 56-40, in the fifth-place game.


In the seventh-place game, Southwest Minnesota State defeated Missouri, 50-28


WHITEWATER 82, ILLINOIS 76


Illinois (76)—Grunstein, 2-0-4; Serio, 7-1-16; Bell, 3-2-7; Pike, 1-1-3; Rodarte, 3-0-6; Gugliotta, 3-0-6; Smurr, 10-1-22; Baltazar, 1-0-2; Wagner, 2-0-4. Totals: 34-6-76.


Whitewater (82)—Okon, 8-6-27; Bienek, 4-3-12; Hinze, 4-4-12; Chambers, 14-0-29. Totals: 30-15-82.


University of Illinois 37 39—76


UW-Whitewater 33 49—82


Three-point goals—Illinois 2 (Serio, Smurr). Whitewater 7 (Okon 5, Bienek, Chambers). Free throws missed—Illinois 6, Whitewater 4. Total fouls—Illinois 19, Whitewater 13.




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