Falcon men advance to WIAC title game
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.