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Falcon Roundup: Women's hoops splits openers

Freshman Brianna Leahy (33) makes a strong move to the basket for two of her team-high 17 points in the UW-River Falls women's basketball team's 73-67 win over Gustavus Adolphus Friday, Nov. 9, at Don Page Arena. Bob Burrows / RiverTown Multimedia

Women's hoops splits openers

Strong bench play helped the UW-River Falls women's basketball team erase an 11-point first quarter deficit and go on to a 73-67 win over Gustavus Adolphus in its season opener Friday night, Nov. 9, at Don Page Arena.

Saturday the Falcons couldn't hold one to a six-point lead late and fell 55-53 to Lakeland University in Plymouth.

The Falcons got 41 points off their bench in Friday night's season opening win over Gustavus, led by freshman Brianna Leahy with 17. Leahy also pulled down 11 rebounds to record a double-double in her collegiate debut while freshman Briana Koop contributed nine points and junior college transfer Lori Wardynski scored eight. Junior Taylor Paulsrud was the only starter in double figures with 13.

Saturday night UWRF led 51-45 with three minutes remaining but Lakeland made five of its six free throws down the stretch to steal a 55-53 win. Wardynski was the lone Falcon in double figures in scoring with 12 points while Leahy finished with six points and 13 rebounds.

The Falcons will host the UWRF Classic this weekend at Page Arena, taking on St. Olaf College Friday, Nov. 16, at 7:30 p.m. and St. Catherine University Saturday, Nov. 17, at 3 p.m.

Men hit century mark in season-opening win

Six Falcons scored in double figures and UWRF outrebounded Central College, 50-28, to post a 103-77 victory over the Dutch in the season opener for both teams Saturday, Nov. 10, in Pella, Iowa.

The game marked the first time the Falcons have scored over 100 points since a 103-98 victory over Robert Morris in 2016.

Seventeen players saw action for UWRF, who led 54-33 at the break before coasting to the 26-point win. Sophomore Matt Keller led the way with 17 points and sophomore Julian Jackson had 16 points, nine rebounds and two blocked shots while senior Clay Seifert of Prescott hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points.

Junior Austin Heidecker contributed 10 points and 13 rebounds for his first career double-double while Jalen Greenlee and Cole Murray had 15 and 13 points, respectively, off the bench.

UWRF outshot Central in every category, shooting 54 percent overall, 56 percent on threes and 93 percent from the free throw line. Central especially had problems in the first half when they shot only 29 percent overall and 22 percent on 3-pointers.

The Falcons will head west to Colorado Springs for the Colorado College Classic this weekend. The will take on Johnson and Wales University Friday, Nov. 16 and host Colorado College Saturday, Nov. 17.

Matsushima nets second straight hat trick

Senior Eddie Matsushima registered his second straight hat trick to lead the Falcons men's hockey team to a 5-4 victory over Concordia (Minn.), Friday night, Nov. 9, at Hunt Arena.

The Falcons struggled to find the back of the net in the second game of the series and were forced to settle for a 1-1 tie with the Cobbers Saturday, Nov. 10.

Matsushima scored a goal in each period Friday night, including the game-winner, unassisted, 5 minutes, 16 seconds into the third, to increase his team-leading total to nine. He assisted on UWRF's other two goals to give him a team-high 12 points through the first five games.

Joe Druplak scored the lone Falcons goal in Saturday's 1-1 tie despite UWRF firing 40 shots at Cobber goalie Cam Haugenoe. Zach Quinn finished with 25 saves for the Falcons.

UWRF, now 3-1-2 on the season, will head north for a pair of games this weekend at Finlandia University in Hancock, Mich, Friday, Nov. 16, and at Northland College in Ashland Saturday, Nov. 17.

Women skaters blank Pointers

The Falcon women's hockey team opened WIAC play with a 5-0 shutout over UW-Stevens Point Saturday, Nov. 10, in Stevens Point.

Kora Torkelson had a pair of goals and Bella Wagner, Callie Hoff and Reilly Springman scored one each as the Falcons won their fourth straight game after a season-opening loss. Tatyana Delaittre stopped all 11 shots she faced as UWRF outshot UWSP, 32-11.

Next up for the Falcons is a trip to Eau Claire for a WIAC matchup with the Blugolds Saturday, Nov. 17, at 2 p.m.

Tolkkinen to run at nationals

Senior Lindsey Tolkkinen finished 12th overall at the NCAA Division III Midwest Regional in Colfax Saturday, Nov. 10, to qualify for this weekend's NCAA National Cross Country Championships in Oshkosh.

Tolkkinen covered the snow-covered, 6,000-meter course at Whitetail Golf Course in a time of 22 minutes, 14.1 seconds, her fastest time of the season. She is one of five women from the WIAC to qualify for the national meet as individuals. UW-Eau Claire finished second at the regional to clinch the conference's automatic bid and will be joined at nationals by UW-La Crosse, who earned one of 16 at-large spots in the 32-team field. UWRF finished 11th overall.

The NCAA Division III National Championships will be held Saturday, Nov. 17, at Lake Breeze Golf Club in Winneconne. The meet will be hosted by UW-Oshkosh.

Bob Burrows

Bob Burrows has been sports editor at the River Falls Journal since 1996 and at the Hudson Star-Observer since 2009. Prior to joining the Journal, Burrows served as sports editor with Ledger Publications in Balsam Lake, Wis. A native of Bayonne, N.J. and a U.S. Navy veteran, Burrows attended Marquette University before completing his studies at UW-River Falls in 1992.

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