Men’s Basketball: ‘Hawks top UW-Stout, eye UW-SP

 

Feb. 5, 2014

By Emily Leclair

The UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team improved its conference record to 8-3 with a win over UW-Stout, 70-59. The ’Hawks are now 17-3 overall.

The Warhawks opened the game strong with an 8-1 run. The Blue Devils missed all five shots from the field and turned over the ball twice.

It didn’t take UW-Stout long to close the gap and went on a 13-2 run to take a 14-11 lead at the 11:20 mark.

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Pat Miller

The Blue Devils hit two threes and went 3-3 from the free-throw line during their run.

Senior guard Alex Merg helped the ’Hawks push ahead of the Blue Devils on a converted 3-point play to start a 19-3 run.

The run lasted eight minutes and gave the ’Hawks a 13-point lead with just three minutes left to go in the first half.

“With this team it’s never been one guy,” head coach Pat Miller said. “It’s been different guys, different nights and even different segments of games.”

The ’Hawks extended their lead to 17 at the end of the first half, 41-24.

The Warhawks remained strong throughout the second half and maintained a steady lead for the remainder of the game.

“We watched film and saw a lot of things that we did wrong and tried to correct them,” junior guard Quardell Young said. “Just small things we corrected and progressed on that tonight.”

The Blue Devils managed to pull within seven points of the ’Hawks on two separate occasions, the last one at the 5:37 mark.

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Quardell Young

The ’Hawks were able to hold UW-Stout off for the remainder of the game.

UW-Whitewater capitalized on the Blue Devils’ mistakes, scoring 21 points off UW-Stout’s 21 turnovers.

“I like our balance, I like how we move the ball, and I like how we take advantage of mistakes,” Miller said.

Junior guard K.J. Evans lead the team with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Young and senior guard Eric Bryson added 11 points each.

The team will play undefeated, top-ranked UW-Stevens Point at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5 in Kachel Gymnasium.

The ’Hawks have lost to UW-Stevens Point the past eight times they have faced them. One of the losses was by a single basket.

Earlier this season when the Warhawks traveled to take on the No. 1-ranked Pointers, Miller’s men were ahead early, 13-12.

The next eight minutes set the ’Hawks out of reach.

The Pointers went on a 22-0 run to give themselves a 34-13 lead. Entering the half, UW-Stevens Point led 42-22.

The ’Hawks couldn’t overcome the deficit on the road, eventually losing 79-67.

Evans led the team in scoring and rebounding, finishing the game with 24 points and seven rebounds. For the Pointers, Trevor Hass recorded 20 points.

Despite the ’Hawks averaging more total rebounds per game than the Pointers to this point in the season, UW-Stevens Point outrebounded UW-Whitewater 35-26 that night.

Unlike the past games they have played against UW-Stevens Point, the team will not have head coach Pat Miller on the sidelines.

Due to cervical spine surgery, Miller will not be at the game. Assistant coach Nick Bennett will act as head coach.

UW-Stevens Point is currently 20-0 overall and 11-0 in conference, and according to D3hoops.com’s top 25 poll, have been the No. 1-ranked team since the third week of the season.

The Pointers have not lost a game since the second round of last season’s NCAA Tournament, falling to Calvin 67-58.

The Warhawks also fell short in the second round of last season’s NCAA Tournament, losing to North Central (Ill.) 64-60 in their own backyard.

The ’Hawks finished the 2012-13 season 24-5 overall.

“We told our guys we don’t have to do anything extraordinary, just do what we do night in and night out and defend well and move the ball,” Miller said.

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