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The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

The student news source of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

The Racquet Press

UWL Eagles Men’s Basketball secure win against Luther College in blowout home victory

Austin Westra. Photo taken by John Gaynor.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6th the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Eagles basketball team defeated Luther College (Iowa) with a score of 82-51. The Eagles won the tipoff and gained the lead, never looking back as the Eagles led for the entire game.  

The Eagles now have a 3-1 record at home and improved their overall season record to 5-4. With the loss, the Norse of Luther College have their season record fall to 3-5, and on the road fall to a record of 2-2. 

The game opened with the Eagles winning the tipoff, and the first score belonged to a Jake Gross three-pointer. The Norse responded with a layup to make the score 3-2, and the Eagles responded with a 9-0 run to make the score 12-2. The Norse ended the run with a mid-range jumper to make the score 12-4, but it was not enough. The lead would never come within eight points for the rest of the game, and the Eagles stormed to victory.  

Wednesday’s matchup was the 34th all-time matchup between Luther College and UWL and resulted in the Eagles’ 25th win over the Norse. The Eagles were led by the starting five, with four out of five players earning double figures. Sam Greiger and Austin Westra each contributed 15 points, Dustin Derosseau scored 11 and Jake Gross scored 10 points. 

The Eagles shot 44 percent from the field over the course of the contest, and 40 percent (10-of-25) from beyond the three-point line. The Eagles also took many trips to the charity stripe, shooting 69.6 percent (16-of-23) compared to 50 percent (10-of-20) for the Norse.  

The Eagles got away with an average shooting percentage on the night, and their defense was enough to push past the Norse and pull off the big win. The team combined for six blocks and seven steals and accumulated 15 second chance points off 14 offensive rebounds while holding the Norse to just 51 points. 

During halftime, each UWL team or club that competed last year on the national level was recognized, highlighting their achievement and cementing their legacy in the UWL record books.  

The teams featured were Men’s & Women’s Cross Country and Track & Field, Football, Gymnastics, Baseball and Softball. Representatives from some of the teams are pictured below. 

The Racquet Press interviewed Dustin Derosseau, about his offseason improvements. Derosseau said, “I felt I haven’t made too much of a change in my game, just making sure I get my work in during the summer.” During the 2022-2023 season, Derosseau averaged 3.8 points per game, and so far through the 2023-2024 season Dustin is averaging 15.8 points per game.   

The Racquet also asked Derosseau about winning at home after last week’s home loss and helping to break open the game and get the bench more involved. He said, “It feels good to get back on track, we knew we had a good chance to pull away against Luther and that’s something we have been poor at this year, so it felt good to finally extend our lead and get everyone in.”  

Sixteen players saw playing time on the court in the victory, 12 of whom contributed to the final score. The Eagles’ bench was led by Mack Sebert, JJ Paider and Khris Green who played 18, 11 and 12 minutes respectively. The bench mob accounted for 34 percent of the team’s total points and was the driving force for the Eagles down the stretch. 

The Racquet also interviewed Head Coach JT Gritzmacher, and asked about the win as well as his first season as head coach here at UWL. Gritzmacher said, “It feels good to get back on track at home and get the win. Winning at home is something that is very important to us and we want to protect our home court.”  

Gritzmacher further commented on last week’s home loss to Bethany Lutheran College. “We let that slip last week, but it was a good bounce back win at home on Wednesday,” he said. 

This is Gritzmacher’s first season as head coach and he had only positive things to say about his time in this position so far. “My experience has been great and better than I could have imagined! Everyone has welcomed me with open arms, and I love the family atmosphere.” 

The box score for the game can be found here. All other available information regarding UWL Athletics can be found on the UWL Athletics website. 

The UWL Men’s Basketball team returns to action on Saturday, December 9th, where they will play Wisconsin Lutheran at 5 pm. The UWL Athletics live stream for the matchup can be found here. 

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About the Contributor
John Gaynor
John Gaynor, Sports Reporter
Year at UWL: Freshman
PGPs: He/Him
Hometown: Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin
Major: Marketing
Minor: N/A
Other Campus Involvement: Running Club, Track & Field Team
Future Plans after Graduation: Work in the aviation industry
Favorite Activity in La Crosse: Walking near the river
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