Falcons lose to Titans 70-79
February 8, 2023
The UW-River Falls men's basketball team hosted the UW-Oshkosh Titans in a late-season conference matchup on Feb. 4. The Titans came in on a seven-game win streak and holding the number one seed in the WIAC, while the sixth-seed Falcons were looking to get back to .500 on the season.
River Falls jumped to an early 19-10 lead, getting the ball to seven different shooters. Center Rodrick Payne is known for his signature slams and fights to the rim, but he sank an early three-pointer to give River Falls momentum.
The Falcons continued to shoot well from short but were quickly eclipsed by the sensational three-point ability of the Titans. Oshkosh grabbed the lead off of a crucial three-pointer from Quinn Steckbauer. The Falcons held their deficit to four at the half with a score of 31-35. Three-pointers defined the Titan's lead, as they shot a reliable 6-of-13 next to a faulty 3-of-12 from the Falcons.
The second half saw two disciplined offenses fight for the lead. The Falcons faced an eight-point deficit but came roaring back midway through the half. Center Jack Leifker shot well in the paint, sinking three shots on a Falcon's 11-4 run. With 8:25 left to play, Guard Logan Jedwabny put the Falcons up 53-52 with a vital three-pointer.
Down the stretch, the Falcons struggled to defend the Titan offense and could not hit critical shots. Inside the three-minute mark, Oshkosh sank two dangerous three-pointers, putting the Falcons into desperation mode. Multiple free throws strengthened the Titan's lead, and they defeated the Falcons 79-70.
River Falls dropped to 10-12 overall and 4-7 against conference opponents. The Falcons struggled primarily on defense, as Guard Quinn Steckbauer went 6-of-8 on threes and willed the Titans to shoot 47.6% on three-pointers. Fouls also cost the Falcons, as they gave up twenty-nine free throw attempts, nineteen of which were made.
Despite the loss, River Falls shot 50% from the field and had four players score double-digits. The Falcons will face off against UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 8, and hope to ignite a late-season surge and patch up their defensive wounds.