The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men’s basketball team’s hopes of advancing to the WIAC tournament stay alive after a huge win over the UW-Platteville Pioneers 58-49.
The Warhawks saw themselves down 9-0 to begin the game against the Pioneers but mythologically battled their way back to keep pace within the contest. Warhawk center Riley Jensen was a key player as he turned in a tremendous night with eight points and a career-high 12 rebounds.
Coach Miller shared his thoughts on Jensen’s performance.
“He definitely made some great plays out there tonight and helped us pull out the win,” Miller stated.
Jensen wasn’t the only player on the Warhawks to contribute in an impactful way.
Senior forward Melvin Brown Jr. racked in a team-high 17 points along with five rebound and two steals.
Brown Jr. gave UW-Whitewater its first lead of the game at 13-11 with 8:59 on the clock in the first half after knocking down a shot from down town. He then put an exclamation mark at the end of the first half by draining a 3-point buzzer beater that brought the team to within 24-20.
Brown Jr. wasn’t finished yet as he sealed the win for the Warhawks with a layup that put his team up by eight points with just over a minute to go in regulation.
Senior guard Mitchell Pfeifer put on a clinic from the free throw line, turning in a perfect 6-6 from the line.
UW-Platteville put up a fight early on, scoring 3 straight 3-point shots to begin the game. The team even had a lead of 22-15 with 2:26 left in the first half.
Forward Kyle Tuma heated up the court with 17 points, three steals, and a perfect 5-5 from 3-point range, but it was not enough as a strong defensive performance by the Warhawks out dueled the strong offensive attack of the Pioneers.
With the win, the Warhawks must win against UW-River Falls this Saturday to advance into the WIAC tournament. The team currently sits in the sixth and final seed in the bracket.
Warhawk fan Annmarie Lavorata is optimistic about Whitewater’s chances against River Falls.
“It’s good to see the team getting hot late in the season after struggling for the last month. They definitely have the momentum,” Lavorata said.
Both teams (UW-Whitewater in White, and UW-Platteville in Blue) look up at a shot made