Dial Young for game-winner

Dial+Young+for+game-winner

Feb. 4, 2015 By Emily Leclair

The UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team increased its winning streak to 11 games after defeating UW-Platteville 65-64 and UW-La Crosse 68-67. Senior Quardell Young scored back-to-back game-winning baskets, both in the last eight seconds, to keep the ’Hawks first in the WIAC 11-0 and 18-2 overall.

“Every WIAC game you have to expect to be close,” senior Cody Odegaard said. “We have to come into every game knowing it’s going to be a battle, it’s going to be a test, there’s no easy game.”

Young made his first gamewinning shot on Jan. 28 at Platteville. On a UW-W possession, Young cut left to lay up the ball and blocked a last second shot attempt to secure the tenth straight win for the ’Hawks.

“I feel pretty comfortable in those situations,” head coach Pat Miller said. “The simple solution is get the ball in Quardell’s hands and try to create a high ball screen and let him work off that.”

Young finished with 26 points, including 5-of-8 from the 3-point line. Odegaard posted 12 points and went 5-of-10 from the field. Senior KJ Evans added nine points and six rebounds, while junior Xzavier Moananu posted nine points and eight rebounds.

UW-W had its largest lead of the first half 24-20, with just under seven minutes left. The ’Hawks headed into the half time trailing the Pioneers by two points.

The second half remained as close as the first. The Pioneers took the lead 45-39 at the 11:57 mark, but UW-W came back to tie it 47-47 after a 3-pointer by Moananu.

The teams exchanged baskets until the 2:36 mark, after Odegaard scored five consecutive points to tie the game 60-60.

The Pioneers gained a one-point lead with 27 seconds play, until Young came up with the game-winning basket.

The teams exchanged the lead 15 times, with neither leading by more than two baskets throughout the game.

The ’Hawks ended a fourgame road stretch with the win, and headed home on Jan. 31 to take on the Eagles.

“To get through that stretch five and oh was very good and shows a little toughness from our guys,” Miller said.

UW-La Crosse hit five 3-pointers in the first seven minutes of the first half to take a 19-13 lead with 14 minutes on the clock.

Young scored the last five points of the half to cut the Eagles lead 32-29 heading into the half.

The second half remained just as close as the first. UW-W took a 46-40 advantage with less than 15 minutes to play.

The Eagles came back to tie the game 58-58, the ’Hawks responded with an 8-2 run to make it 66-60.

The Eagles led 67-66 with 20 seconds left to play. Young came off a high screen and hit a driving layup with defenders surrounding him on all sides to win the game.

The team has five games left in the regular season and sit one game ahead of UW-Stevens Point for the WIAC title.

“We just have to take care of our own business,” Odegaard said. “We just play how we have to play and get the job done.”

The ’Hawks will host UW-Eau Claire at 5 p.m. on Feb. 7. The Blugolds are 3-7 in WIAC play and 7-12 overall.

“I have high expectations for this team and I still feel we can get a lot better,” Miller said.

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