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UWRF women’s basketball team adjusting to young roster

December 12, 2013

The UW-River Falls women’s basketball team went into a WIAC game against Platteville last Saturday with some momentum after getting its first win of the season at home against La-Crosse, 59-56 and having a 1-0 start in WIAC play.

“It felt really good to get our first win of the season against UW-La Crosse. It was good to know that our team was able to lock down at the end of the game and get the win,” said junior Hailey Siegle.

Siegle scored 17 points which was her career high at the time going 5-10 from the field and 4-4 from the free throw line also adding five rebounds but UWRF fell 84-67.

“Having my career high against Platteville felt really good but not nearly as good as a win would have felt,” said Siegle. “Coming off of our first win and then traveling to Platteville and losing was tough but it just shows that we have to come into every game and lock down and play our game.”

The first half of the game started out going back and forth with the two teams tying four different times but towards the end Platteville gained momentum and took a 36-25 lead into halftime.

The Falcons caught fire from behind the three point line in the second half hitting eight three pointers to finish 10-33 from behind the arc. UWRF would have no answer for Platteville’s offense of attack, however, and got out scored 48-42 in the second half. The Falcons finished 22-66 (33.3 percent) from the field but allowed Platteville to shoot 33-64 (51.6 percent).

The story of the season for the Falcons has been the youth with 12 overall freshman on the roster. Hannah Pignato provided the team a spark with 13 points and two steals coming off the bench.

“It has been quite the adjustment having the team majority being freshmen. What is most important with having such a young team is that we, as upperclassmen, have to be good examples for the younger players and help them with the transition into the more intense play of college basketball and more importantly into the WIAC,” said Siegle.

Wednesday night the Falcons traveled to Stout for another WIAC match up. After going down 17-2 early UWRF stormed back.

“They came out with a flurry but our team really handled the runs tonight. We kept the game at the tempo we wanted to the entire game. Our players stayed composed, played a good game and dug themselves out of a hole, said head coach Cindy Holbrook.

Siegle hit a three pointer with 57 seconds left in first half to give UWRF a 26-25 lead going into halftime. Siegle finished the game with 20 points for a new career high.

Stout took the back the first minute into the second half but at 16:02 the Falcons scored taking the lead back and would never look back. Stout would get within four points with just over two minutes left but UWRF went on a 12-1 run and went on to win 67-52. Pignato had 13 points and five rebounds, Richell Mehus scored eight points, grabbed eight boards and dished out five assists and had three steals. Freshman Courtney Kanipes also grabbed a career high eight rebounds and had three steals.

Despite poor first half shooting, 10-34 (24.9 percent) UWRF went 11-24 (45.8 percent).

The Falcons will play next at 2 p.m., in La Crosse, Wis., at Viterbo University.

“Our focus into our next games is to focus on our play.  We have to take good care of the ball and really lock down on defense,” said Siegle.