Warhawk men claim WIAC tournament title, NCAA bid - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Warhawk men claim WIAC tournament title, NCAA bid

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WHITEWATER – The No. 2 University of Wisconsin-Whitewater men's basketball team won its fourth-ever Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament championship Saturday, defeating UW-Oshkosh 71-57 in the final at Kachel Gymnasium.

With the victory, the Warhawks (24-3 overall) wrapped up the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins next week. UW-Whitewater will make its fourth consecutive NCAA appearance and 20th in program history.

The Warhawks will learn their first-round opponent and location during Monday's NCAA Selection Show, which will air live at 11:30 a.m. on NCAA.com.

Senior forward Ron Patten led all scorers with 19 points, including four 3-pointers, in 20 minutes off the bench. Senior guard Quardell Young posted 17 points, including 15 in the first half, to go along with five assists, while senior wing KJ Evans totaled 15 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season.

UW-Whitewater shot 53.3 percent from the field while holding the Titans (16-12) to just 35.1 percent from the floor.

In the first half, the Warhawks shot a sizzling 65.2 percent from the floor and ended the period on a 16-2 run.

Young registered 15 points during the first eight minutes of the contest, giving UW-Whitewater an 18-9 advantage with his second straight 3-pointer at the 12:05 mark of the first.

After UW-Oshkosh drew to within 24-21, Evans and Patten took over for the remainder of the half.

Evans started the spurt with a baseline jumper, then later extended it with a 3-pointer to put the Warhawks ahead 31-23 with 3:46 on the clock.

Patten knocked down consecutive 3-pointers and Evans scored the final three points of the frame to give UW-Whitewater a 40-23 lead heading into the locker room.

The Warhawks continued their push early in the second half, stretching the run to 28-6 thanks to senior guard Cody Odegaard, who hit a jumper with 15:58 left to give the team its largest lead of the day at 52-27.

UW-Whitewater seeks its third national championship in the last four years and fifth overall. The Warhawks won NCAA titles in 1984, 1989, 2012 and 2014.

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