Interview with Matt TurbaInterview with Head Coach Wayne Wagner La Crosse, Wis. – Sophomore Matt Turba (Wisconsin Rapids, Wis.) scored a career high 26 points to help lead Viterbo University to a 73-63 win over 21stranked UW-River Falls. Viterbo starts the 2011-12 season 3-0; its best start since the 1993-94 season.
After the Falcons of UW-River Falls cut their deficit to 55-52 with 3:41 left, sophomore Cole Lewis (Prairie du Chien, Wis.) hit his second three-pointer of the game to spark a 9-2 run to extend the V-Hawks lead back to ten at 64-54 (2:20). UWRF would cut it back to five (64-49) with 1:10 left on the clock but the V-Hawks would put the game away at the free throw line by going 9-10 in the final minute of the game.
After the Falcons scored the first basket of the game, the V-Hawks would score the next eight points and would never trail in the first half. The V-Hawks largest lead in the first half came at 24-17 with 6:30 remaining in the opening period. The Falcons would chip away at their deficit and trail 31-28 at the break. Turba led the V-Hawks in the first half with 13 points while Shane Manor led the Falcons with 9 points.
The Falcons would take their only lead of the second half at 36-35 at the 15 minute mark but Viterbo would quickly regain the lead and never give it back. Redshirt freshman Jordan Laufenberg (Sparta, Wis.) would hit a three-pointer to give Viterbo back the lead at 38-36 and the V-Hawks had an answer for every Falcon threat. The difference in the second half may have been the fact Viterbo was an impressive 23-26 from the free throw line. Turba made 11 of those free throws as he was 11-12 in the second half.
Turba may of had the career night but he was not the only offensive threat for the V-Hawks as they had four scorers in double figures. Sophomore Izac Sheforgen (St. Francis, Minn.) added 15 points while Lewis chipped in 14 points and Laufenberg had 10. Lewis led the V-Hawks with six rebounds. Manor was the top scorer for the Falcons as he finished with 21 points.
As a team, the V-Hawks finished 17-37 (45.9%) from the floor including 6-10 from three point range. UW-River Falls was 24-52 from the floor and just 3-21 from behind the three-point line. The difference in the game came at the free throw line as Viterbo was 33-39 (84.6%) while UW-River Falls was just 12-16 (75%). The Falcons did have a 33-22 advantage on the boards but also committed 24 turnovers on the year.
The win maybe Viterbo's biggest in the last couple of years as UW-River Falls is 21stin the preseason edition of the D3hoops.com top-25 poll. The Falcons are picked to finished third in the WIAC which is traditionally one of the top NCAA III conferences. Viterbo will look to remain unbeaten this weekend as they host their annual men's basketball invitational. Viterbo will play Valley City State at 7:00 pm on Friday night and then Cardinal Stritch University at 4:00 pm on Saturday.