‘Hawks are kings of WIAC

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‘Hawks are kings of WIAC

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Jan. 28, 2015 By Emily Leclair

The No. 1 ranked UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team extended its winning streak to 10 games after wins against UW-Stevens Point 59-44 and UW-Superior 83-59. The ’Hawks improved its overall record to 16-2 and claimed the WIAC lead with a 9-0 record.

“Since we reached the pinnacle of success in Division III athletics, which is a national championship, it’s pretty much do what we can to get back to where we were last year,” senior Quardell Young said. “We’re just looking to keep moving forward and keep getting better every game.”

UW-W was quick to take the lead against UW-SP on Jan. 21, leading the Pointers 11-2 just three minutes into the first half.

Senior Cody Odegaard led the ’Hawks with 18 points, while senior KJ Evans added 14 points with five rebounds.

Young posted his second        double-double of the season with 11 points, 10 assists and two steals. Senior Steve Egan also added 11 points with a team-best six rebounds.

With five minutes remaining in the first half, the Pointers had an 11-2 run to cut the ’Hawks lead to 23-21. Egan added seven points to get the lead back for UW-W and the score was 30-25 going into half-time after the Pointers made a pair of free-throws.

“First and foremost, you have to win all your home games,” head coach Pat Miller said. “It was obviously a very important game for us to win if we want to remain in control of the conference race.”       UW-W started the second half as strong as the first, with a 38-27 lead with 17:47 left to play.

The ’Hawks maintained the lead for the remainder of the game, holding the Pointers to 27.3 percent field goal shooting in the second half.

UW-W shot 55.3 percent from the floor and held Stevens Point, now 7-1 in the WIAC, to 33.3 percent.

With the win, the team added its ninth straight victory and is currently first in the WIAC. The team said it feels no added pressure because of its standing.

“At this point, it’s almost irrelevant [the standings], there’s so much basketball to be played,” Miller said. “We’re off to a good start, we’re positioning ourselves, but we’re far from accomplishing anything at this point.”

The team continued its winning streak on the road against UW-Superior on Jan. 24.

Six UW-W players scored between eight and 12 points to continue the team’s winning streak. Senior Rahjan Muhammad and juniors Xzavier Moananu and Ron Patten posted 12 points apiece.

Muhammad, a transfer from the Chicago State University, added six rebounds in his debut as a ‘Hawk.

“He gives us a little depth at the guard position,” Miller said.

Young posted 11 points and four assists, while Odegaard added a team-best seven rebounds. Freshman Jerry Ngobi came off the bench to add nine points in 12 minutes of play.

UW-W was quick to take the lead of 14-3 just five and a half minutes into the game and ended the first half with a 28-point lead.

The team held a lead of 20 points or more throughout the second half to earn the win. The ’Hawks shot above 50 percent from the field and held the Yellowjackets to 32.8 percent.

UW-W will take on UW-Platteville at 7 p.m. on Wednesday on the road. The Pioneers are 6-3 in WIAC play and currently have a three-game winning streak.