By Angela Kelm
Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Information
Fort Wayne, Ind. — Warhawks’ Phenomenal Run Ends in NCAA Semifinal
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men’s basketball team’s phenomenal postseason run came to a close in the NCAA Division III semifinals Thursday night. The Warhawks fell to No. 3 Mount Union 83-79 in the Final Four at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
UW-Whitewater’s growth this season culminated in a fantastic run through the postseason. Heading into the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament as the number three seed, the Warhawks hosted UW-River Falls in their opening game picking up a win in Kachel Gymnasium. UWW has been on the road ever since. From February 24 at La Crosse to March 16 in Fort Wayne, the Warhawks traversed over 1,800 miles defeating four ranked teams along the way to set up the semifinal game against the Purple Raiders.
The Warhawks won the first half in the battle of the purple powers. UW-Whitewater was shooting lights out building a lead that eventually hit 15 by the 10:48 mark after a turnaround jumper by Trevon Chislom made it 23-8. Just over two minutes later, Jameer Barker hit from deep to extend the lead to 18, 32-12, as UWW had the Purple Raider faithful in a stunned silence.
As it rained from downtown, Carter Capstran added to the three-point tally with a triple at the 3:41 mark to give the Warhawks their largest lead of the game, 37-17. From that point Mount Union closed the half on an 11-4 run to cut the margin to 13, 41-28 at the break.
The Warhawks shot over 57-percent from the floor in the first half hitting 46-percent from downtown. Atypical of UWW’s play all season, the Warhawks struggled from the free throw line making just 4-12. Meanwhile, Mount Union shot just 29-percent from the floor and, contrary to their resume this season, were 0-11 from deep.
Three Warhawks had already hit double figures in the scoring column as Miles Barnstable led all players with 12, Capstran had 11 and Chislom dropped in 10.
On the other side of the break, the Purple Raiders continued to build their momentum opening the half on an 11-3 spurt to cut the gap to five, 44-39 at the 15:56 mark.
A three-pointer from Delvin Barnstable followed by a jumper from Barker quickly pushed the lead back into double figures with 14:43 on the clock. The gap hovered between 8 and 11 for three minutes.
Mount Union continued to chip away claiming their first lead of the game with less than eight minutes left. Capstran knocked down his signature hook shot to give UWW the lead once again but the Purple Raiders hit in their next possession and would never trail the rest of the way.
The Warhawks stayed within striking distance, never allowing the gap to grow to more than five points, but free throws and second chance points late kept UWW from coming back.
With less than 10 seconds remaining, in a three-point game, a controversial call had the officials meeting at the scorer’s table to review. The Warhawk faithful were hopeful they were reviewing possession as the ball was tipped out of bounds. However, they were only reviewing for time purposes putting mere tenths-of-a-second back on the clock. Mount Union was able to seal the game at the line.
The Warhawks shot 45-percent from the floor (27-60) and from beyond the three-point arc (9-20) but hit just 57-percent from the charity stripe (16-28). Mount Union shot 36-percent from the floor (29-81), made just one triple in 18 tries and knocked down 77-percent (24-31) from the line.
Capstran, Chislom and Barnstable all had 17 points and six rebounds to lead UWW. Barker added 15 and four assists. Chislom posted a game-high four blocks in the contest.
The Warhawks 2022-23 campaign ends with a 25-8 mark with the program’s 22nd appearance in the national tournament and sixth trip to the Final Four.