Feb. 2, 2015 By Josh Sinclair
Senior guard Quardell Young was asked to convert in crunch time again for the No. 1 UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team and again, he delivered.
In a déjà vu like moment, the senior guard drove in and flipped up a lay-up with eight seconds left, then proceeded to block the game-winning shot attempt by to seal the 68-67 victory over UW-La Crosse in a WIAC matchup at Kachel Gymnasium. The same series of events occurred just three days ago against UW-Platteville.
Coach Pat Miller isn’t satisfied though, “I believe we’re good, but I feel like we can be much better.”
Young finished as the top scorer for the game, netting 21 points, to help keep the Warhawks (18-2 overall, 11-0 WIAC) atop the WIAC. Young had a game-high seven assists and also knocked away four steals in the victory.
UW-La Crosse (8-12 overall, 3-8 WIAC) was led by junior guard Jared Staege who had a team-high 18 points, and knocked down 4-of-5 3-point attempts. The team shot 46.9 percent from the field, the Warhawks shot a comparable 46.2 percent.
Miller gave credit to La Crosse after the game.
“[They] played well, they shot the ball very well, and put us in difficult postion, but that’s the benefit of having seniors and having a guy like Quardell Young who can have the ball at the end of the game and make things happen.”
Although the Eagles did hit 13 from 3-point range, and the Warhawks only connected on six, it proved to not be enough.
The Warhawks physicality was the difference in the game, outscoring the Eagles in the paint 40 to 12. UW-Whitewater also out rebounded the Eagles 27 to 24, led by senior KJ Evans who snatched eight rebounds to go along with 17 points for the Warhawks.
Getting out on the break also proved to be crucial for the Warhawks who scored 10 points while creating 14 turnovers and converting eight fast break points to the Eagles zero.
Other key contributors were senior guard Cody Odegaard who scored 11 points including three triples, and senior forward Steve Egan who had seven points and two blocks in the victory.
A close game throughout, neither team possessed a lead of more than eight and the lead changed five times including twice in the last 30 seconds.
UW-Whitewater will play at home again at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7 at Kachel Gymnasium against UW-Eau Claire.
“We have a week now where we will focus on ourselves and get us better,” Miller said.