Falcons Beat No. 8 Ranked UWSP

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The Falcon women's basketball team used a strong second half to beat No. 8 ranked UW-Stevens Point, 67-63, on Wednesday night at the Karges Center.

UWRF trailed by three, 29-26, at the half, but outscored the Pointers, 41-34 in the second half to get the win and improved to 12-1 overall and stay undefeated at 4-0 in WIAC play.

"Stevens Point is a very good team and this is a great home win for us," said Falcon Coach Cindy Holbrook after the game. "We had a solid second half that helped us to the win. I thought we got some good minutes from Tess Lueders (Stillwater, MN, Stillwater), Lauren Pellowski (St. Paul, MN, Tartan) and Jessie Van Wyhe (Albertville, MN, St. Michael-Albertville); not a lot of minutes in some cases, but minutes that gave our starters some needed rest." Lueders finished with six points and eight rebounds in 23 minutes of playing time. Van Whye played nine minutes and scored three points and Pellowski played 14 minutes and scored three points.

UWSP, now 11-2 overall and 3-1 in WIAC play, held a 29-26 lead at the half led by Sam Barber's 10 points. Ashley Averkamp scored eight. Tiffany Gregorich (Altoona, WI, Altoona) led the Falcons with eight points while Brittany Gregorich (Altoona, WI, Altoona) added six. The Falcons had eight turnovers in the first 20 minutes compared to just four for the Pointers. UWRF had only two leads in the first half and both came early. Alise Holst (Plainview, MN, Plainview-Elgin-Millville) hit a jumper about 1:30 into the game to give the Falcons a 2-0 lead. With 16:23 to play Tiffany Gregorich scored on a layup in the paint, was fouled, and hit the free throw to give her team a 5-4 lead. UWSP opened a nine point (18-9) lead with 8:58 to play when Barber scored a four-point play. She hit a three, was fouled, and made the free throw. After that the Falcons tied the game, 26-26,  with just 1:44 to go in the half when Jamie Kenealy (Farmington, MN, Farmington) hit a jumper. Twenty seconds later Barber hit a layup, was fouled, and connected on the free throw to make it a 29-26 game.

With 13:26 to play in the game, the contest was tied, 35-35. But the Falcons took the lead after that and never trailed again. Holst scored on a layup to give UWRF a 37-35 lead with 13:11 to go. Leading 42-40 with 10:04 to go, the Falcons went on a 8-0 run to take control. Four players scored during the run that gave the Falcons a 50-40 lead with 8:23 to play. UWRF's biggest lead was 11, 58-47, with 4:03 to play. UWSP hung in and cut the lead to six, 58-52, with 3:22 to play. UWSP got to within two, 65-63, with just five seconds to play when Cassie Bandow hit a three. But Lueders hit two free throws with :02 to play to seal the win. UWRF forced UWSP into 12 second half turovers and they had 16 for the game.

Tiffany Gregorich led UWRF, ranked No. 14 in this week's USA Today ESPN Coaches' poll, with 17 points. She also led the Falcons with five assists and she had three steals. Holst added 15 points and six rebounds to the cause. Brittany Gregorich scored 12 points, had seven rebounds, two assists, two blocks and three steals in a well-rounded game.

UWSP was led by Barber who scored 19 points. She had five rebounds and four steals. Brooke Allen added 12 points and five rebounds. Bandow scored eight points and led all players with six assists.

UWRF will next play at UW-Whitewater on Saturday with tip off set for 4 p.m.

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