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Men’s basketball wins on successful ‘Suits and Sneakers’ night

February 4, 2015

A night of collegiate basketball at the Karges Center led to a UW-River Falls men’s basketball 90-76 victory over the visiting UW-Superior Yellowjackets on what was deemed “Suits and Sneakers” night.

The Falcons ran away with the game late in the second half, yet, off the court the focus was on defeating a more evil foe: cancer. “Suits and Sneakers” night brought awareness for cancer research and shed light on the effect cancer has on people everywhere.

“Suits and Sneakers” night, a nationwide event put on by many programs across the U.S., is designed to show support for the “Coaches vs. Cancer” program, which has been around for over two decades since its inception in 1993. Over $87 million has been raised in the fight against cancer.

Head coach for the Falcons, Jeff Berkhof, who recently won his 100th career game, was in high support of the event in which $160 was raised.

“It’s a fun event to be a part of and an opportunity for coaches to bring attention the American Cancer Society’s fight against cancer,” Berkhof said. “Hopefully people are reminded to make healthy living choices in regards to their nutrition as well as being active and taking care of their bodies.”

Shooting from the floor the Falcons dominated, tallying 58 percent for the entire game with five Falcons getting into double figures including CJ Lewis, Grant Erickson, Jon Christensen, Eli Rockett and Garret Pearson.

Most notably, Christensen had 12 rebounds to go with his 12 points as he notched his third double-double of the season as the Falcons moved to 8-11 on the season and 6-4 in the WIAC, which puts the team into a tie for fourth place with UW-Oshkosh.

Christensen, a junior from Elko, Minnesota, spoke of how this game can be a stepping-stone for not only the team, but for cancer awareness as well.

“It’s a great thing for us as a team to get this win and move up in the conference, but mainly for the cancer awareness night,” Christensen said. “I think it is a great thing for the NCAA to put something like this on to promote awareness, it’s the one thing we as a team can help do to help people who need money in the efforts to beat cancer.”

The Falcons were not the only team to participate in this “Suits and Sneakers” event. Superior Head Coach Paul Eberhardt also took part in the event and cancer has influenced his family and his life.

“I think it’s a great opportunity, I lost an aunt to breast cancer, a grandmother to breast cancer, both my wife’s mom and grandmother both to breast cancer, so it hits home for me,” Eberhardt said. “So as coaches, if we can help raise awareness, why not? It’s just a great opportunity so we can raise awareness and kick cancer’s butt.”

The next Falcons home game is the “Alumni Game” at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Karges Center against the Oshkosh Titans.