Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Senior night slugfest

The UW-Whitewater Men’s Basketball team suffered yet another conference loss in their final game of the season, Saturday Feb. 17, to make them an even 7-7 in WIAC play (17-8 overall). 

The Warhawks were downed 66-58 against UW-River Falls, whom they beat by just one point last month. Trevon Chislom led the team with 18 points despite being held to nothing in the first half by a physical Falcons defense.

Chislom was one of seven seniors recognized before the team’s final regular season home game along with Cliff McCray, Delvin Barnstable, James Kelley, Drew Fischer, Will Pytleski and Team Manager Logan McCarley. 

“Those guys have meant a lot, especially Will [Pytleski] and Tre [Chislom] because they have been here five years,” head coach Jarod Wichser said. “They kinda saw us when we were at our worst and almost brought us back to our best by making it to the Final Four last season. It was great to get James [Kelley] for one year, he has been an amazing addition. Delvin [Barnstable] has been awesome the last two years, a completely coachable guy who will do whatever you ask of him. Drew Fischer unfortunately had a tough year as far as health goes, but I am really proud of all those guys.”

The team also recognized Derek Gray as an honorary senior. Gray, a member of the Warhawk basketball program, lost his life to a cardiac episode in the summer of 2022 at the age of 20. 

The loss to River Falls leaves the team with what is now a necessity to win big in the WIAC tournament if they want any chance to play in the NCAA Tournament in March. 

The game was physical early with tight defense from both teams. Whitewater struggled to get their first points on the board, but it was Delvin Barnstable who found the hoop for the Warhawks first with a shot from deep. 

UW-River Falls took advantage of the slow start from Whitewater and held a 19-10 lead at the ten minute mark with Whitewater shooting just 3 of 13 from the field in the first ten minutes of gameplay. 

The Warhawks started to heat up a little bit with six straight points from James Kelley, scoring contribution from both of the Barnstable brothers, and an acrobatic and-one reverse layup from Isaac Verges along the baseline. 

With five minutes remaining in the first half the Warhawks trailed the Falcons by one, 22-21, but fell back into an eight-point deficit 33-25 to end the half. 

While Whitewater struggled to convert on field goal attempts, River Falls was raining down their 3-point attempts. Noah Hansen scored a game-high 19 points and knocked down four of his six shots from deep. The Falcons converted 9 of 21 from distance as a team against the Warhawks 5 of 23.

“You just have to adapt,” Delvin Barnstable said about defending a team on a good shooting night. “At times we did in this game and at times we didn’t and I think that is one of the reasons we fell tonight. We just couldn’t get to those shooters.”

In the second half, Chislom wasted no time putting himself in the scoring column as he took over senior night and kept the Warhawks within striking distance up to the final buzzer. 

“In the first half we were flat, we didn’t really come out with the start we wanted,” Chislom said. “I started out the second half really trying to get inside and that helped a lot and opened it up from deep for me with them sitting in the paint.”

Delvin Barnstable also offered a spark on the defensive side of things as he racked up four steals and three blocks in addition to his 12 points. 

The surge came too little too late for Whitewater and was unable to offset their poor shooting performance from the first half. 

The Warhawks are set to play at Stevens Point, Tuesday Feb. 20, in a win or go home situation. The team will attempt to pull off a repeat of last year when they managed to win the WIAC tournament and earn an automatic bid to the NCAA contest. 

“If anything we are going to use these losses as motivation,” Barnstable said. “Use them to get hungry and get mad. Coming in with a chip on the shoulder going into the tournament I think will be very beneficial for us.”

Warhawks honor their past championship teams at their senior and alumni night. (Alexa Stirn)
Number one, Jameer Barker scores (Alexa Stirn)
Senior, number 32 James Kelley goes to score for his senior night game. (Alexa Stirn)
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About the Contributors
Mikey Rottier
Mikey Rottier, Men's Sports Journalist
Alexa Stirn, Photographer

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