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Falcon men advance to WIAC title game

The UW-River Falls bench reacts to a three-pointer by Devin Buckley that gave the Falcons a 56-53 lead with four minutes remaining in their WIAC Tournament semifinal game against UW-La Crosse Thursday night at Karges Center. (River Falls Journal photo by Bob Burrows)

Devin Buckley and Garrett Pearson hit back-to-back three-pointers to give UW-River Falls a six-point lead with 3:38 remaining and the Falcons held UW-La Crosse scoreless for the final 3:16 of the game on their way to a 68-55 victory over the Eagles in a WIAC Tournament semifinal Thursday, Feb. 23, at Karges Center.

The top-seeded Falcons will host No. 2 UW-Oshkosh in the tourney title game Saturday, Feb. 25, at 7 p.m. Oshkosh defeated third-seeded UW-Whitewater, 75-61, to advance. The winner of Saturday's game will receive the conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.

UWRF led by just one, 24-23, at halftime and the lead changed hands 13 times in the second half before Buckley hit a three to put the Falcons up 56-53, with four minutes remaining.

After a missed free throw by La Crosse, Pearson drained a three from in front of his own bench to extend the Falcon lead to 59-53. The Eagles got a pair of free throws with 3:16 remaining to make it a four-point game, but a baseline drive by Grant Erickson and a three-pointer by Brennan Witt pushed UWRF's lead to nine, 64-55, at the two minute mark.

La Crosse went 0-for-6 from the field the rest of the way while the Falcons went 2-for-3 from the line and got a layup by Clay Siefert to make the final 68-55.

Pearson and Buckley finished with 13 points each in the win while Witt contributed 12 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.

See the March 2 print edition of the River Falls Journal for more.

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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