Men’s Basketball loses OT heartbreaker to La Crosse

Losing streak up to five before defeating UW-Stout

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Dane Sheehan

Trevon Chislom squares up for the tipoff to begin overtime. The Warhawks tied the game late in the fourth quarter, forcing overtime. However, they ran out of gas allowing La Crosse a 9-0 run in the last period of play.

Ross Guyette, Assistant Sports Editor

The Spring Semester won’t be kicking off as planned for men’s basketball, as they have not been able to pull off a clean victory since Dec. 29. The Warhawks were on a roll, having won three straight games, but now find themselves in a four-game losing streak. Losing three straight games to begin their conference schedule hasn’t been sitting well with the team.

Having lost to UW-River Falls and UW-Stevens Point in the previous week, the men were looking forward to Wednesday’s home matchup against top UW-La Crosse. Sophomore guard Bailey Kale is ready to prove doubters wrong.

“People will be seeing who we are very soon. We have been able to improve a lot, and no matter what our record may be this is a great learning experience,” Kale said.

The Warhawks fell short and focus was hindered by execution errors. Executing with too much energy seemed to create early faults, causing turnovers and poor shot selections.

After settling down from early jitters the Warhawks were able to finally get on the board down 12-2 with 15 minutes still left in the first half. Refusing to back down, the team was able to right the ship toward the end of the half, narrowing the lead 35-32. Kale and freshman Trevon Chislom led the way in the first half, combining for 20 points.

As the second half started to roll along, the La Crosse Eagles seemed to be unstoppable to start the second half. Pulling away with 12 points ahead against the Warhawks, there was a sense of urgency as fouls racked up for pivotal players like Trevon Chislom and senior forward Riley Jensen. Nearly at the limit, coach Pat Miller turned to junior guard Equan Ards to pull out the second half comeback.

Fighting has been this team’s calling card and that they did as time ticked down with the spectacular efforts by a united Warhawk front helping propel them into a tie, forcing OT. As energy ran high, a familiar sight reappeared when they started struggling offensively. Seeming to be heading in the right direction, Warhawks struggled to find their footing once over-time was under way.

Unable to shut down the Eagle surge, Warhawks allowed 75 percent shooting in OT compared to their 25 percent, ultimately sealing their fate. Allowing 62 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep has been a common sight this past month, something that usually renders the same results.

“We are a very tight knit group, we never allow our guys to get down. At the end of the day we are like brothers and we are always going to try to push each other,” Trevon Chislom said about the locker room energy.

There has been a routine statistic that continues to haunt the Warhawks: shooting percentage. With impressive stats in all other areas, Whitewater shot only 40 percent from the field and 37 percent from deep. This has been something hindering these Warhawks for a good chunk of the season. Impressive defensively and on the glass, one wonders at the potential of this squad.

Coach Pat Miller has been taking the games one at a time, trying to focus on each individual competition.

“I care about every game, they are all important. I don’t care to talk too much on the future farther than the next game because they all give us potential to improve,” he said.

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