WPU Snatches 84-80 Road Win Over Viterbo
La Crosse, Wis.–The Statesmen basketball team escaped from its longest league road trip with an 84-80 win against Viterbo Wednesday.
The coaches’ preseason poll picked WPU (12-7, 2-2 MCC) and the V-Hawks (10-11, 1-3 MCC) as the MCC’s top two squads, and six ties and eight lead changes later, the matchup did not disappoint.
William Penn led 41-35 at halftime, but the hosts rallied to regain the lead momentarily at 48-46. Fortunately, a three-point play by Kelly Madison (Jr., Des Moines, Iowa, Physical Education) at the 13:56 mark gave the visitors the lead back for good.
Viterbo knotted the contest one more time at 61-61, but the navy and gold responded with five straight and eventually led 76-66 with 1:29 on the clock. Despite committing three turnovers in the final minute and being outshot 44.3%-43.5%, William Penn was still able to even its league record.
Alec Schwab (Jr., Peru, Ill., Business Management) continued his tremendous play since returning from injury, tallying a game-high 28 points highlighted by five three-pointers.
Madison finished with 20 points, and Marc Wilson (Sr., Los Angeles, Calif., Physical Education) posted 12 in a non-starting role.
For the second time in three games, Blake Walker (Sr., Rose Garden, Physical Education) once again came up just shy of a triple-double with nine points, a game-best 14 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and one steal.
Roberts Baltruns (So., Riga, Latvia, Business Management) and Erik McGee (Jr., Oskaloosa, Iowa, Elementary Education), also with nine rebounds, both contributed seven points Wednesday. The Statesmen owned a 47-35 edge on the boards (12-9 offensive), which led to a 14-6 margin in second-chance points.
William Penn also overcame committing seven more turnovers (20-13), which only led to a 12-10 advantage for VU.
“Alec and Kelly were amazing scoring the ball tonight,” Head Coach John Henry said. “Blake was a monster all over the court as well. This was a solid win far from home.”
Next: William Penn returns to Oskaloosa Saturday to host Mount Mercy in MCC action at 3 p.m.