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Falcons open Page with sweep

UW-River Falls junior Clay Seifert of Prescott (1) drives by a Central College defender in the first half of the Falcons' 85-73 victory over the Dutch Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Page Arena. Seifert finished with 11 points and a team-high four assists in the win. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 1 / 2
UW-River Falls senior Alex Herink of Hudson puts up a shot over a pair of Central College defenders in the first half of the Falcons' 85-73 season opening victory over the Dutch last Wednesday, Nov. 15, at Page Arena. Herink was one of five Falcons in double figures in the win with 10 points. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia 2 / 2

Both the UW-River Falls men's and women's basketball teams christened Page Arena with victories in their first regular season games in their new home Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The Falcon men led wire-to-wire in an 85-73 win over Central College in the first game of the doubleheader while the women completed the sweep with a 58-52 win over Carleton College.

Senior Brennan Witt recorded a double-double in the men's win with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead five Falcons in double figures in scoring.

Sophomore Matt Keller matched Witt's team-high 15 points and junior Clay Seifert scored 11 while seniors Alex Herink and Devin Buckley each chipped in 10. Herink and junior Austin Heidecker pulled down seven rebounds apiece while Seifert dished out a team-high four assists.

The Falcons jumped out to a 5-0 lead and and were up 45-34 at the break before taking their biggest lead of the game, 78-59 on a three-pointer by Keller with 6:35 remaining.

Nine different Falcons played at least 10 minutes in the win.

The UWRF women trailed early before taking the lead for good, 11-10 on a pair of free throws by Anna Rollag with 2:33 remaining in the second quarter. The Falcons outscored Carleton 18-8 in the second quarter to open up a 32-18 lead and opened up the third quarter with an 11-2 run to take their biggest lead of the game, 43-20, on a layup by Brynn Liljander but Carleton pulled to within nine, 44-35, with one quarter remaining.

Carleton got as close as four points, 55-51, with 1:38 to play but UWRF outscored the Knights 3-2 from the free throw line down the stretch to hold on for the win.

Liljander led the Falcons with 24 points and seven rebounds.

The Falcons women went on to dominate St. Olaf and St. Norbert to take first place at their home UWRF Classic over the weekend at Page Arena. The Falcons beat St. Olaf, 63-46 Friday night behind 12 points from Taylor Karge, 11 from Liljander and 10 from Hayley Rau, before defeating St. Norbert 55-37 Saturday with Karge scoring a game-high 17 points.

The UWRF men headed to Wheaton, Illinois over the weekend for the Wheaton College Classic and dropped their first game to Baldwin-Wallace, 68-65, despite a 26-point effort by Herink.

Herink registered a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds the following night at the Falcons picked up a 72-69 overtime victory over DePauw University.

Both UWRF teams will be back in action at home Tuesday, Nov. 21, with the Falcons women taking on Bethel University at 6 p.m. and the men hosting UW-Superior at 8 p.m. at Page Arena.

The Falcon men will play their next four games at home beginning Saturday, Nov. 25 against Hamline University at 5 p.m. They will take on Carthage College Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m. and Carleton College Saturday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. before wrapping up the homestand against the University of St. Thomas Saturday, Dec. 9 at 5 p.m.

Bob Burrows
Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.
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