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Falcon Roundup: Falcons start 0-2 in WIAC

UW-River Falls' sophomore Alex Ohde (44) puts up a shot in the first half of the Falcon men's basketball team's 88-68 loss to 12th ranked UW-Stevens Point Saturday, Jan. 5, at Page Arena. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

The 12th ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team jumped out to an early 9-2 lead and never looked back on its way to an 88-69 win over UW-River Falls Saturday, Jan. 5, at Page Arena.

The Pointers shot over 70 percent from the field in the first half on their way to a 47-31 lead that UWRF couldn't overcome. Stevens Point hit 7-of 10 three-pointers in the first half while the Falcons were just 12-of-29 from the field, including 4-of-9 from three-point range.

UWRF never got any closer than 15 in the second half, 74-59, on a layup by Jack Stensgard with 5 minutes, 36 seconds remaining. Stensgard, a Simley High School graduate playing in his fourth game since transferring from Division I University of South Dakota, led the Falcons with 17 points. Austin Heidecker finished with 10 points and eight rebounds while Ross Ingersoll added 10 points off the bench. Nate Dodge led the Pointers with 29 points.

Three nights earlier in their WIAC opener at Page Arena, the Falcons couldn't hold on to an eight-point halftime lead in a 68-59 loss to UW-Eau Claire.

The Falcons led 30-22 at the break but UWEC opened the second half on a 7-0 run to make it a one-point game. The Blugolds took the lead for good with 11:15 remaining and led by as many as 13 late.

Heidecker posted his seventh double-double of the season in the loss, finishing with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Matt Keller finished with 13 points and Julian Jackson scored 11.

UWRF, now 7-6 overall, 0-2 in WIAC play, will visit UW-Platteville Wednesday, Jan. 9 and fifth-ranked UW-Oshkosh Saturday, Jan. 12.

Women's hoops falls to UWEC, UWSP

The Falcon women's basketball team held halftime leads in its first two WIAC games of the season but couldn't hold on, falling to UW-Eau Claire 64-55 Wednesday, Jan, 2 and 67-62 at UW-Stevens Point Saturday, Jan. 5.

The Falcons led by 10, 33-23, at Stevens Point but the Pointers went on a 25-14 third quarter run to take the lead for good. Taylor Paulsrud led UWRF with 16 points while Jenna Zeman scored 15.

The Falcons jumped out to a 10-2 lead in their WIAC opener at Eau Claire but the Blugolds trimmed it to one, 27-26, at the break and outscored UWRF 22-6 in the third quarter to pull away.

Paulsrud and Lori Wardynski finished with 15 points each in the loss while Crystal Pearson scored 10.

UWRF, now 6-7 overall, 0-2 in WIAC play, will host UW-Platteville Wednesday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m. and UW-Oshkosh Saturday, Jan. 12 at 3 p.m.

Men's hockey splits

The Falcon men's hockey team split its first two games of the new year, dropping a 4-2 decision at the University of St. Thomas Thursday, Jan. 4, before picking up a 1-0 road win at Gustavus Adolphus, 1-0, Saturday, Jan. 5.

Christian Hausinger scored the only goal of the game at Gustavus while Joe Marcouiller stopped all 28 shots he faced.

Hausinger scored a power play goal with five minutes remaining Friday night at St. Thomas but that's as close as the Falcons could get in a 4-2 loss.

Cayden Cahill opened the scoring 3 minutes, 46 seconds into the game but St. Thomas responded with four unanswered goals. Zach Quinn made 32 saves as the Tommies outshot the Falcons 36-22.

UWRF, now 6-6-3 on the season, will host St. Olaf Friday, Jan. 11 and Bethel Saturday, Jan. 12, at 7:05 p.m. each night.

Women skate past St. Olaf

The sixth-ranked Falcon women's hockey team spoiled the opening of the new St. Olaf Ice Arena with a 3-1 victory over the Oles Friday, Jan. 4, in Northfield.

Alyson Niebur, Erica Schramel and Callie Hoff staked UWRF to a 3-0 second period lead before the Oles made the final 3-1 in the third. Schramel's goal came on a power play.

Falcon goalie Tatyana Delaittre finished with 17 saves as UWRF outshot St. Olaf 41-18.

The Falcons, now 12-2-0 overall, will head north to Ashland for a pair of games against Northland College Friday and Saturday, Jan. 11-12.

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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