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Sports wrap-ups

December 5, 2013

The men’s basketball team played three games over Thanksgiving Break, compiling a 2-1 record in those games.

The first of the three games was a struggle as the Falcons lost a road tilt at St. John’s University, 88-58. Ollie White’s fourth straight game scoring in double figures was not enough to keep pace with St. John’s, which shot 65.6 percent from the field in the second half.

On Nov. 31, and Dec. 1, the team returned to action at the UW-Stout Thanksgiving Classic. The Falcons opened the tournament with a dramatic 63-59, come from behind win against Wartburg College, after trailing by 18 points at halftime. Senior Ben Gressmer, White, and freshman Grant Erickson led the way, scoring 15, 14, and 13 points, respectively.

In the next game, UW-River Falls faced Ashford College, but didn’t need a comeback this time. The Falcons never trailed in the game, and were bolstered by shooting 61.9 percent from behind the three-point arc. The Falcons won 79-66, and were again led in scoring by Gressmer, who scored a career high 19 points.

The Falcons returned from their 2-1 Thanksgiving Break and opened WIAC play on Dec. 4. However, the Falcons were unable to extend their winning streak in UW-La Crosse. The team was unable to keep pace with the hot shooting Eagles, who jumped out to a 49-26 lead by halftime. White’s seventh straight game in double figures was not enough to bring the Falcons back, as they lost 80-52.

The team will be at home for its next two games against UW-Platteville, Dec. 7, and Stout, Dec. 11.

Women’s hockey

The women’s hockey team began the season slowly, losing three of its first five games. However, since then the Falcons have won three straight games by a combined score of 15-2.

Kait Mason, senior forward, handles the puck in a women’s hockey game.
Kait Mason, senior forward, handles the puck in a women’s hockey game. Mason has scored four goals and three assists so far this season. (Kathy M Helgeson/University Communication)

The winning streak began in UW-Eau Claire as the Falcons notched a 2-0 victory over their conference opponent. Senior Katie Batters recorded her fourth goal of the season a little more than five minutes into the first period to give the team an early lead. Sophomore Chloe Kinsel added the Falcons second goal in the final period. Senior goaltender Ashley Kuechle recorded the shutout, while compiling 24 saves in the game.

The next night, the Falcons returned to Hunt Arena to again take on Eau Claire. This time Falcons won in dominant fashion. Freshman Dani Sibley and Batters scored a minute apart in the first period to give the Falcons a quick lead. The Falcons defense was stifling as it held Eau Claire to 12 shots on goal, while Kuechle recorded another shutout. The offense stayed hot as the game went on, leading to a 6-0 victory for UWRF.

On Nov. 26, the team played at home again, this time against non-conference foe St. Olaf College. The offense continued its scoring streak, putting five shots into the net by the end of the second period. The Falcons would score seven goals on the night, winning 7-2, and, for the second straight game, held an opponent to under 20 shots on goal.

After not playing over Thanksgiving Break, the team returns to action on Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, against UW-Superior. The Falcons also play on Wednesday, Dec. 11, at home, against Gustavus-Adolphus College, which has eliminated the Falcons from the NCAA tournament the last four years.

Women’s basketball

Featuring a team with 12 freshman, it has taken the women’s basketball team a little while to find its footing.

Richell Mehus drives into the paint during the game against Bethel University.
Richell Mehus drives into the paint during the game against Bethel University. Mehus has led the team in scoring the last two games. (Kathy M Helgeson/University Communication)

The team took its 0-3 record into the College of St. Benedict on Nov. 23. After playing close to the Blazers early in the game, the Falcons fell behind 29-17 by halftime. However, the Blazers took control after a 12-0 run in the first five minutes of the second half. The Falcons played primarily entire freshman lineups in the second half. Freshman forward Ali Clark led the Falcons scoring with a career high 12 points. Senior Tess Lueders led the team with six rebounds.

On Nov. 26, the team played its first home game of the season against Bethel College. For the second straight game, the Falcons stuck with their opponent early in the game, but let the contest slip away as the game went on. Despite going on a late run, the Falcons were unable to regain all of the ground, and lost 70-61. Sophomore guard Richell Mehus led the way tying her career high with 16 points. Freshman Katie Messman added a career high nine points as well.

The team played no games over Thanksgiving Break and returned to action on Dec. 4, at the Karges Center against La Crosse. It was similar story for the Falcons early in their first WIAC game of the season. The Falcons hung with the Eagles early, but found themselves down 19-13 at halftime. With 6:53 remaining in the game, the Falcons reclaimed the lead. After trading blows for the next four minutes, the Falcons went on a 7-0 run and didn’t look back, recording their first win of the season, 59-56. Mehus again led the way, with a team-high 16 points and nine rebounds.

The team will be on the road for its next two conference match-ups. It plays at Platteville on Dec. 6, and at Stout on Dec. 11.

Men’s hockey

The men’s hockey team has enjoyed success early in its season, compiling a 4-1-1 record.

The team traveled to Concordia University on Nov. 22, to face them for only the fourth time ever. UWRF got on the board early with goals from sophomore Alex Murphy and junior Willie Hess, who scored his sixth goal of the young season. In the second period UWRF extended its lead to 4-1 with goals from freshman Ryan Doner and sophomore Mike Williams. UWRF was able to withstand a late charge from Concordia in the closing minutes to win the contest 4-3.

The next day, the Falcons travelled down the road to face the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE), for only the sixth time ever. This game did not see the high scoring action the Falcons had seen the night before. Williams scored his second goal in two days in the second period of the game. That goal turned out to the be all the Falcons needed as sophomore goaltender Tanner Milliron earned both his first win, and first shutout in the 1-0 Falcons victory.

The Falcons played its first conference game on Thursday night at Stout. The team will return home on Friday against Superior.