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Janesville Craig High graduate Riley Jensen played a major role in getting the UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team into the WIAC Tournament on Saturday afternoon.

The junior hit 7 of 8 shots and finished with 16 points, and added six rebounds and two block shots as the Warhawks hung on to defeat visiting UW-River Falls 77-74 at Kachel Gymnasium.

The victory earned the Warhawks the sixth and final seed in this week’s conference tournament over the Falcons.

Whitewater (17-8 overall, 6-8 in the WIAC) will play at No. 3-seed Platteville in a quarterfinal game at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The Warhawks defeated the Pioneers twice this season. Whitewater won on the Pioneers’ court 88-80 on Jan. 23, and beat Platteville 58-49 at Kachel Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

Saturday, Whitewater built a 46-32 halftime lead.

River Falls battled back to within two, when Jensen responded with eight straight points to put the Warhawks ahead 70-60. Senior David Sachs hit six of eight free throws down the stretch to keep Whitewater ahead. A desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer by the Falcons bounced off the backboard.

Senior guards Andre Brown and Melvin Brown Jr. each scored a team-high 19 points.

WHITEWATER 77, RIVER FALLS 74

River Falls (74)—Jackson, 6-16 6-7 18; Heidecker, 8-11 2-3 18; Stensgard, 5-9 0-0 12; Ingersoll, 3-8 5-6 12; Ohde, 1-2 4-4 6; Keller, 2-3 0-0 6; Hanson, 0-3 2-2 2; Macho Jr., 0-3 0-0 0; Phillips, 0-0 0-0 0; Greenlee, 0-2 0-0 0; Seifert, 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 25-59 19-22 74.

Whitewater (77)—Brown, 8-13 3-4 19; Brown Jr., 8-15 1-2 19; Jensen, 7-8 2-3 16; Sachs, 0-2 6-8 6; Rongstad, 2-3 1-2 6; Pfeifer, 2-7 1-2 5; Menke, 1-3 1-2 4; Grintjes, 1-2 0-0 2; Brahm, 0-0 0-0 0; Bressler, 0-2 0-0 0. Totals: 29-55 15-23 77.

River Falls 32 42—74

Whitewater 46 31—77

Three-point goals—River Falls 5-19 (Stensgard 2-4; Keller 2-3; Ingersoll 1-5; Hanson 0-3; Macho, Jr. 0-1; Seifert 0-2; Jackson 0-1), Whitewater 4-17 (Brown Jr., 2-5; Rongstad, 1-2; Menke, 1-3; Pfeifer, 0-4; Sachs, 0-1; Brown, 0-2). Rebounds—River Falls 29 (Heidecker 8), Whitewater 29 (Jensen, 6). Assists—River Falls 14 (Stensgard 7), Whitewater 14 (Pfeifer, 5). Total fouls—River Falls 20, Whitewater 16

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