UW-L Earns Ninth Straight Win over Viterbo
La Crosse, Wis. - The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse men's basketball team improved to 3-0 on the season with a 61-51 victory over city-rival Viterbo University (Wis.) Tuesday night in Mitchell Hall in its home opener. The Eagles earned their ninth straight win over the V-Hawks, who fell to 3-4 on the season. UW-L now leads the all-time Alumni Cup series with Viterbo, 15-9.
The V-Hawks raced out to a 9-3 lead hitting four of their first five shots from the field. Viterbo later led 14-8 and 17-11. The V-Hawks took a 21-16 lead on a Pete Drummond jumper with 8:26 remaining in the first half when the Eagles used an 11-0 run to lead 27-21. Jeff Heiden and Cale Zuiker each hit a three-pointer in the run as the V-Hawks missed eight straight shots from the field and had four turnovers. Viterbo cut the lead to 27-24 at halftime after a three-pointer from Jordan Laufenberg with 1:08 left.
Viterbo hit its first three field goal attempts of the second half to lead 30-27, but Heiden tied the game with a three-pointer with 18:00 remaining. Connor De Bruin hit a pair of free throws with 16:41 left to give UW-L a 32-30 advantage and the Eagles never trailed the rest of the game.
UW-L led 37-34 with 12:47 left before Braden Tice made a three-pointer and Zuiker made two free throws for a 42-34 lead. The V-Hawks cut the deficit to 50-47 with 5:27 remaining on a Izac Sheforgen layup, but Viterbo missed 11 of its final 12 shots from the field.
The Eagles' Michael Barrett gave UW-L a 55-47 lead with 4:07 left and Viterbo could get no closer than six points the rest of the game.
Lucas Morrissey led UW-L with his first career double-double, finishing with 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds. The 19 rebounds are an Alumni Cup single-game record, breaking the mark of 18 by Viterbo's Scott Buschman in 2007. UW-L's Gene Soderstein, Don Peth and Vern Stark hold the single-game school record with 24 rebounds.
Heiden had a game-high 15 points Tuesday, including three-of-six from three-point range. He finished with four assists. Lucas Collom and Zuiker each added eight points. Collom also had seven rebounds.
UW-L shot 38.5% from the field, including 50.0% (10-of-20) from three-point range. The Eagles shot 68.8% (11-of-16) at the line.
Sheforgen and Matt Turba led Viterbo with 11 points. Both players had four rebounds in the game. Cole Lewis finished with nine points and team-high 10 rebounds.
The V-Hawks shot 35.6% from the field, including 23.1% (three-of-13) from three-point range. The team shot 66.7% (six-of-nine) at the line.
UW-L returns to action Sunday, November 25 hosting Luther College (Iowa) at 6 p.m.