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The UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team finally had a close game go its way, and they earned it.

The Warhawks overcame a 61-56 deficit to defeat host and No. 20-ranked UW-La Crosse 65-63 in a WIAC contest Wednesday night.

The Warhawks led by as many as six points in the first half, but the Eagles came back to take a 30-26 lead at halftime.

The Eagles still led 61-56 when the Warhawks ran off the next seven points. The Warhawks tied the game at 63-all on a layup by Wyatt Cook.

Whitewater’s Bailey Kale completed his 18-point night when he hit a jumper with 34 second left in the game.

Both teams then traded turnovers and missed front ends of the bonus, which gave the ball back to the Eagles with six seconds left in the game.

La Crosse ran the floor, and Whitewater’s James Burks III saved the win when he blocked Terek Nesheim’s jump shot at the buzzer.

Breontae Hunt contributed 17 points in the win.

Whitewater improved to 2-6 in the WIAC and 7-12 overall.

La Crosse is 5-3 in the WIAC and 15-3 overall.

WHITEWATER 65, LA CROSSE 63

Whitewater (65)—Kale, 7-15 2-2 18; Hunt, 5-10 3-5 17; Burks III, 3-4 2-2 8; Jensen, 3-5 1-1 7; Gates, 2-5 0-0 5; Martinez, 2-2 0-0 4; Ards, 1-4 0-0 2; Chislom, 1-5 0-0 2; Brahm, 1-2 0-0 2; Walker Jr., 0-1 0-0 0; Grintjes, 0-0 0-0 0. Totals: 25-53 8-10 65.

La Crosse (63)—Anderson, Ethan 8-17 0-0 19; Nesheim, Terek 4-13 3-4 11; Haese, Zac 4-13 0-0 11; Noone, 3-5 0-0 9; Cook, 2-5 3-5 7; Norcia, 2-3 0-0 5; Suchomel, 0-1 1-2 1; Bunders, 0-1 0-0 0; Anderson, 0-0 0-0 0; Burkart, 0-3 0-1 0. Totals: 23-61 7-12 63.

UW-Whitewater 26 39—65

UW-La Crosse 30 33—63

3-point goals—UW-Whitewater 7-17 (Hunt 4-7; Bailey 2-5; Gates 1-3; Ards 0-1; Chislom 0-1), UW-La Crosse 10-30 (Haese, 3-12; Noone, 3-5; Anderson, 3-5; Norcia, 1-2; Burkart, 0-2; Cook, 0-1; Nesheim, 0-3). Rebounds—UW-Whitewater 39 (Hunt 10), UW-La Crosse 32 (Cook, 7). Assists—UW-Whitewater 8 (Kale 4), UW-La Crosse 11 (Burkart, 3; Suchomel, 3; Cook, Wyatt 3). Total fouls—UW-Whitewater 12, UW-La Crosse 12. A-630

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