Split drops Falcons in poll
A home win over UW-Platteville Jan. 10 wasn't enough to keep the UW-River Falls men's basketball team from dropping six spots in this week's D3hoops.com rankings after the Falcons lost to No. 13 UW-Oshkosh on the road three nights later.
The Falcons entered last week ranked No. 7 in the nation and took care of unranked Platteville, 91-84, last Wednesday at Page Arena. But UWRF suffered its second WIAC loss of the season and slipped to 11-3 overall with Saturday's 67-58 loss at Oshkosh.
The Falcons and Titans basically flip-flopped in this week's poll, with Oshkosh (13-2) jumping seven spots to No. 6 and UWRF falling to No. 13. UW-Whitewater (13-2) moved from No. 5 to No. 2.
The Falcons will look to make up some ground when they travel to UW-La Crosse (1-3, 9-6) Wednesday, Jan. 17 and host UW-Stout (0-4, 6-9) Saturday, Jan. 20, at 5 p.m. at Page Arena.
Last Wednesday UWRF went 30-of-36 from the free throw line in the second half to overcome a ten-point deficit and hand Platteville its first conference loss of the season, 91-84.
The Falcons trailed 47-37 early in the second half before whittling it down to two, 54-52, with 13:19 remaining. Back to back layups by Austin Heidecker put UWRF up for good, 56-54, and the Falcons went 23-of-27 from the free throw line in the final 10 minutes to seal the win.
UWRF made 36-of-42 free throws in the game while outrebounding the Pioneers, 36-25.
Alex Herink led the way with 24 points, including 12-of-13 from the line, and also pulled down seven rebounds while Devin Buckley finished with 21 points while going 3-for-5 from three-point range and 6-of-6 from the line. Heidecker scored 15 points off the bench while Clay Seifert registered 14 points and a team-high eight rebounds.
Saturday in Oshkosh the Falcons jumped out to an 11-2 lead before the Titans went on a 10-0 run. A three-point play by Heidecker gave UWRF its last lead, 14-12, midway through the half but Oshkosh outscored UWRF 21-11 the rest of the way to open up a 33-23 lead at the break. The Falcons got as close as three, 57-54, with 3:46 remaining but couldn't get over the hump.
Both teams made just 20 field goals in the win but ten of Oshkosh's were three-pointers. The Titans also outrebounded the Falcons, 43-37.
Brennan Witt was the lone Falcon in double figures in scoring while Seifert scored nine and Matt Keller had eight. Herink was limited to seven points in the loss but pulled down 10 rebounds and made three steals.