‘Hawks remain undefeated

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‘Hawks remain undefeated

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Feb. 11, 2015 By Andrew Lowe

The UW-Whitewater men’s basketball team holds the No. 1 rank in the nation with its 13th straight win against UW-Eau Claire 77-62 on Feb. 7 in Whitewater. The team will head to UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 11 to battle for first place in the WIAC.

“We got beat up on the glass when we played there [Eau Claire], so rebounding was a big focus coming into tonight’s game,” Miller said. “I thought [Steve]Egan and [Ron] Patton were really good on the glass, and our guards did a much better job rebounding too. Our rebounding was definitely the positive coming out of the game tonight.”

Its game plan worked as they battled the Blugolds inside on the glass, out rebounding them on the offensive boards 10-2 and 21-16 overall in the first half.

A five minute scoring drought to end the half kept Eau Claire in the game as Whitewater missed multiple opportunities to capitalize on scoring chances inside, which limited its halftime lead to 34-28.

“I think we got tired at the end of the half, and instead of making simple plays, we got really ragged,” Miller said. “It was disappointing.”

The Warhawks forced 17 turnover which it turned into 24 points. The ’Hawks also came up with 11 steals and out-rebounded Eau Claire 40-29.

“Boxing out and going after the ball all week in practice definitely helped us tonight,” Egan said.

Quardell Young and KJ Evans are usually the top offensive players, with one or the other leading the Hawks in scoring in all but four games this season.

Egan and Patton stepped up in this game and led the Warhawks on the offensive side of the floor.

Egan finished with a team-high 19 points, and Patton, who came off the bench, added 15 points.

Young, who battled some cramping throughout the night, scored 14 points.

Odegaard had 10 points, and Evans dropped eight points.

“With me coming off the bench, my goal is to come out and play big minutes and give some of the other guys some rest,” Patton said. “I just need to play hard on defense and the offense will come.”

Miller had high praise for Patton’s play following the game.

“Ron is a very capable player. When he plays with intensity and worries about the right things, he is very good,” Miller said.

The No. 1 Warhawks (19-2, 12-0 WIAC) have a big road game coming up against rival and the second place WIAC team in No. 11 UW-Stevens Point (18-4, 12-1 WIAC) on Wednesday.

If the Warhawks can beat the Pointers in Stevens Point, it sets them up to win the WIAC regular season title outright, as well as host the conference tournament.