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Men’s basketball loses two at home

February 12, 2009

The Falcons lost important home-court advantage games against UW-Superior and UW-Eau Claire Feb. 4 and 7 forcing them to face the challenges of fighting for their spot in the conference playoffs on foreign turf.

The Falcons’ first loss came from the Superior Yellowjackets with a final score of 69-56. The Yellowjackets dominated the first half but the Falcons stuck with them, trailing by one point at the break. The Falcons came out strong in the second and took the lead but were soon overtaken once more and trailed the Yellowjackets for the remainder of the game. Top scorers were Aaron Anderson and Wade Guerin with 15 and 14 points respectively.

Head Coach Jeff Berkhof said he was not pleased with the performance against the Yellowjackets.

“We did not compete the way we needed to in order to win,” Berkhof said.

Senior Jesse Elling, who scored six of the Falcons’ 56 points, said he had similar feelings about the team’s performance.

“We just didn’t really play like we wanted it very much,” Elling said.

The second straight loss came from the Eau Claire Bluegolds with a final score of 78-72. River Falls started the game with a 6-4 lead. Eau Claire was able to reach a 16 point lead near the end of the first half but River Falls came back trailing just four points by the break. At 15:46 in the second half, UWRF was able to take the lead with a three-pointer from Wade Guerin and held that lead until Eau Claire stole it back for good with 5:27 left in the game. Anderson performed exceptionally well, scoring a career-high 21 points.

Even thought the Falcons fell to the Bluegolds, Berkhof said he was pleased with the way his team performed.

“We came and competed,” Berkhof said. “I will be able to sleep tonight with the way they played.”

Senior Jesse Elling agreed with Berkhoff.

“We played well on Saturday,” Elling said. “Unfortunately they are just a good team.”

These home-court losses do not push the Falcons out of the conference play-offs, however they must now win on the road to stay in the running. 

Berkhof said he is optimistic about the rest of the season and playoffs.

“The next three teams that we play on the road we have beat earlier in the season,” said Berkhof. “We just have to win some games.”

As of now River Falls is 9-12 in the conference and is set to travel to UW-La Crosse in a match-up against the Eagles. The Falcons snagged a win against the Eagles the last time they met with a close score of 62-61.