Warhawks win eight in a row

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Jan. 21, 2015 By Emily Leclair

The UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team ended its winter break with an eight game winning streak and improving its overall record to 14-2. The ‘Hawks are currently tied with UW-Stevens Point for first in the WIAC  conference with a record of 7-0.

The team came into break after losing to top ranked Augustana College, but quickly bounced back to begin a winning streak.

“In those situations, we try to walk away and look at it as a learning experience and an opportunity to get better,” head coach Pat Miller said. “As we went into the break, that was really our focus is to continue to improve as a team.”

The ’Hawks started the break in the Fort Healthcare Holiday Tournament in Whitewater, defeating Monmouth College 74-54 and Kalamazoo College 89-53.

After the holidays, the ’Hawks defeated Beloit College 92-51 in a non-conference game. The team began its conference winning streak with a hard fought win on the road against UW-River Falls 67-63, followed by dominating wins against UW-Superior 88-57, and UW-Stout 96-67.

“Every game we come in with our game plan and we want to get better offensively and defensively,” senior guard Quardell Young said. “We’ll clean up a few of our mechanics, sharpen up on the offensive side, limit teams to an amount of points, you know, just progress week in, week out.”

The team traveled to Eau Claire on Jan. 14 to battle for a 62-61 win over UW-Eau Claire.

Young scored nine of his 15 points in the final 3:01 of the game. With just 31 seconds left on the clock, the Blugolds led by two. Young converted a lay-up and was fouled, completing a 3-point play to put UW-W ahead 60-59 with only 20 seconds left to play.

Eau Claire scored on a lay-up, briefly taking the lead from the ’Hawks, but was quickly shut down when Young picked up the ball at half court and scored giving the ’Hawks the lead.

A 3-point buzzer shot from the Blugolds failed and the ‘Hawks extended their winning streak to seven games.

Senior  KJ Evans posted his fifth double-double of the season with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Steve Egan added 12 points and seven rebounds. The ’Hawks shot 76.9 percent at the free throw line, but only recorded 40.4 percent from the field.

“It’s really just a number of guys stepping up and whatever defense gives us, that’s what we try to take,” Miller said.

The team took on UW-La Crosse on Jan. 17 on the road to win 71-64 and continued an eight-game winning streak.

Young recorded a career-high 28 points on a perfect 12-of-12 shooting, the fifth most perfect shooting game in program history.

Evans added his sixth double-double with 19 points and a season-high 13 rebounds. Senior guard Cody Odegaard added eight points and five rebounds for the ’Hawks.

With 2:37 left to play, La Crosse came within one point of the ’Hawks, but Evans and Young converted consecutive lay-ups along with Evans’ four free throws in the final 32 seconds, to secure the win for the team.

UW-W shot 52.9 percent from the field, holding the Eagles to 38.6 percent. The team outscored La Crosse 44-18 in the paint and went 15-for-20 at the free throw line.

The ’Hawks will take on UW-Stevens Point at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in Kachel Gymnasium to battle for the number one conference spot. The Pointers are 13-3 overall and are tied 7-0 in the conference with UW-W.

“We know we’re highly ranked, we know we’re undefeated in the conference, and we’re going to get everyone’s best shot,” Miller said.