The No. 24 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men's basketball team used a 13-0 run late in the second half to pull away from 25th-ranked St. John's (Minn.) in a back-and-forth non-conference affair Friday night, posting an 83-72 triumph at Kachel Gymnasium.
The Warhawks (2-0 overall) turned a 57-55 deficit with 7:24 remaining into a 68-57 advantage three minutes later as senior guards Andre Brown and Mitchell Pfeifer scored 11 of the 13 points during the spurt.
The Johnnies (1-1) drew to within five with 1:31 to play, but junior forward Riley Jensen knocked down 4-of-4 free throws over the final 1:14 of play and Pfeifer connected on two during the same span to put the contest out of reach.
Brown led all scorers with 20 points, including 16 in the second half, to go along with nine assists and four steals. Senior forward Melvin Brown Jr. tallied 13 points, and senior forward Derek Rongstad registered 12 points, three rebounds and four steals.
Pfeifer finished with 11 points and four assists, and senior guard Dalton Menke recorded 11 points, all in the first half. Freshman forward Finley Schumacher gave the team a lift in the first half with three points, a team-best six rebounds and two assists.
UW-Whitewater shot 65.5 percent from the floor in the second half and 55 percent for the game, while St. John's shot 50 percent for the contest, including a 52 percent mark in the second half.
The Johnnies scored the first four points of the game before the Warhawks scored 20 of the next 24, including eight points from Rongstad, to take a 20-8 advantage with 11:17 on the clock.
St. John's drew to within one by the 4:39 mark, but Menke connected on back-to-back 3-pointers to push the UW-Whitewater lead up to seven with 2:26 left in the half. The two teams traded baskets the rest of the period, and the Warhawks held a 36-30 advantage into the locker room.
The two teams traded scoring runs early in the second half, with UW-Whitewater grabbing a 10-point lead with 18:19 remaining on a layup in transition by Brown and a 12-point advantage five minutes later on a 3-point play by Brown.
The Johnnies responded with consecutive 3-pointers and ripped off a 10-0 run to take a 57-55 lead with 7:24 to go, when the Warhawks took control of the affair.
UW-Whitewater hosts Concordia Wisconsin Saturday at 7 p.m. at Kachel Gymnasium.