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UW-River Falls Falcon sports update

Basketball: Falcon men eye WIAC title

The 25th-ranked UW-River Falls men's basketball team controls its own destiny after a pair of victories last week, and some help from the UW-Superior Yellowjackets.

The Falcons needed a last-second three-pointer from Aaron Anderson to edge Superior, 58-57, last Wednesday, Feb. 8 at Karges Center, then defeated UW-Oshkosh, 85-71, at home Saturday, Feb. 11.

Superior, meanwhile, defeated UW-Whitewater, 60-58, Saturday to leave the Falcons and UW-Stevens Point tied for first place in the WIAC at 12-2 with two games remaining. Whitewater is a game behind at 11-3.

The Falcons visit UW-La Crosse (6-8) Wednesday, Feb. 15, before wrapping up the regular season at home against Whitewater Saturday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. UWRF has already swept the season series with the Pointers and can clinch the regular season crown, and top-seed in next week's WIAC Tournament, with wins in its last two games.

Last Wednesday's win over Superior avenged a Falcon loss to the Yellowjackets at Superior back on Jan. 18.

Shane Manor led all scorers with 22 points while Ollie White finished with 13 and Wade Guerin contributed eight points and nine rebounds. Anderson finished with six points, including the game-winning three with five seconds remaining.

Saturday, Manor scored 16 of his team-high 22 points in the first half as the Falcons built a 46-28 halftime lead on their way to an 85-71 victory over Oshkosh.

White added 19 points and 10 rebounds while Anderson scored 15, including a big three-pointer with 1:53 remaining that served as the dagger, putting the Falcons up by 13. 

Basketball: Women's hoops runs streak to five

The 20th-ranked Falcon women's basketball team ran its winning streak to five with a 64-42 win over UW-Superior last Wednesday and a 71-46 victory Saturday over UW-Oshkosh.

The win keeps the Falcons, now 19-4 overall, tied for second place in the WIAC with UW-Eau Claire at 11-3 with two conference games remaining. Both teams are one game back of idle UW-Stevens Point. 

The Falcons close out the season with two home games. UW-La Crosse visits Karges Center on Wednesday, Feb. 15, at 7 p.m., and UW-Whitewater visits to cap-off the regular season, with a 3 p.m., game on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Hockey: Men to host NCHA playoff openers

The UW-River Falls men's hockey team dropped a 1-0 decision to St. Scholastica Friday night, Feb. 10 before posting a 5-4 overtime win Saturday, Feb. 11 against UW-Superior to finish in third place in the final NCHA regular season standings.

The Falcons, 16-7-2 overall, 10-6-2 in NCHA play, and St. Scholastica each finished with 22 points in the conference standings but the Saints earned the tiebreaker by virtue of their season sweep of UWRF. The Falcons will host sixth-seeded UW-Eau Claire in the first round of the NCHA Peters Cup this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17-18 at Hunt Arena.

Last Friday's loss to the Saints marked the first time UWRF has been shutout this season. Saturday against Superior, Blake Huppert scored with 6:28 remaining to force overtime and Adam Cardwell scored the game-winner 2:37 into the extra session to lift UWRF to the win.

Hockey: Women clinch NCHA title

The UWRF women's hockey team clinched the NCHA regular season title by sweeping Finlandia, 6-0 and 8-2, over the weekend.

This is UWRF's fourth NCHA regular season title. The Falcons also won titles in 2011, 2009 and 2003. 

The Falcons, ranked No. 8 in this week's poll, will host a first round O'Brien Cup NCHA playoff series Feb. 24-25. If the Falcons win that series they would host the league's semifinals and finals the weekend of March 2-3. Games would be played at Hunt Arena. There will be two semifinal games on March 2 and a championship game on March 3. 

Alice Cranston recorded a hat trick Friday night and Melissa Deardorff posted her second shutout of the season in the 6-0 win over Finlandia.

Saturday, Katie Batters and Brook Story each had four points and Crysta Lowell scored two goals as the Falcons completed the weekend sweep with an 8-2 victory.