by Chris Lindeke, Asst. Athletic Director, UW-W
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men’s basketball team made several big plays down the stretch offensively and forced a miss on a last-second shot attempt defensively Saturday for a 73-72 victory at UW-Stout in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference contest in Menomonie, Wis.
The Warhawks (6-10 overall, 1-4 WIAC) shot 54.5 percent from the field, their second-highest mark this season, and outscored the Blue Devils 26-8 in points from reserves.
Junior forward Equan Ards collected 29 points on 12-of-20 shooting and added seven rebounds and three assists. Freshman guard James Burks tallied 17 points, five rebounds and two steals off the bench, and sophomore guard Bailey Kale posted 10 points, three rebounds and two assists.
Senior center Riley Jensen and freshman forward Trevon Chislom registered six points apiece, and freshman guard Austin Gates grabbed a team-high eight rebounds and added two steals.
UW-Stout (5-11, 1-4) led 7-0 three minutes into the contest, but UW-Whitewater drew back to within two at the 13:28 mark on a jumper by Kale.
The Blue Devils built their lead up to 10 points with 11:07 to play in the half before the Warhawks ran off eight straight points, including four from Burks, to make it 21-19 with 8:17 on the clock.
UW-Whitewater tied the game at 28-28 with 5:50 left, but UW-Stout regained the lead 16 seconds later and held a 38-36 advantage heading into halftime.
The Warhawks scored eight straight points to start the second half, with Ards’ layup capping the run and putting the team ahead 44-38 with 17:34 to play.
UW-Whitewater’s lead dwindled to one by the 15:22 mark before the Warhawks posted an 11-2 run, including five points from Ards and four from Burks, for a 57-47 lead with 11:20 to go.
The Blue Devils rallied for the next 11 points to take a one-point advantage at 6:52. The Warhawks responded again, this time with a 13-3 spurt, to take a 70-61 lead with four minutes left after a free throw by Burks.
UW-Stout narrowed its deficit to one possession with 1:40 to go, but Burks responded with a 3-pointer at the 1:13 mark for a 73-67 advantage.
The Warhawks held on despite five straight Blue Devil points and a game-winning shot attempt by UW-Stout just before the buzzer.
UW-Whitewater visits No. 7 UW-Platteville Wednesday. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.