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Bucs Dominate Roadrunners With Strong Second Half

Wednesday evening the UW-Marinette Buccaneers played host to the UW-Richland Roadrunners for the 2017-18 home opener.  There was no struggle offensively for the Bucs as they opened a 43-32 lead at halftime and exploded for 62 second-half points, winning 105-57 in blowout fashion.

Richland held tough in the first half as they exchanged leads early on with the Bucs.  Marinette then switched to a 1-3-1 zone defense that gave the Roadrunner offense fits, while creating opportunities on the other end.  The Roadrunners tried doing the same, switching to a 2-3 zone defense, but it had the opposite effect.  Marinette used their big men Max Muelver and Lucas Rochemont inside, to create open outside looks behind the three-point arc.  Just before halftime, Buccaneer Bryce Thompson drilled a deep triple, giving them a 43-32 halftime advantage.

Bucs' coach Bryan Wickstrom said of his team,"We knew coming into this Richland has several very quick guards, so in practice we started discussing options of zone.  We made the adjustment to go to a 1-3-1 and with Matt Newman being on top at 6'5, it's tough to throw over him and it really gave them a lot of problems up top and took them out of their offensive rhythm and it really paid off for us."

It was all Marinette after the break, as their zone defense continued to create problems for Richland, and seemingly all of the Bucs' shots were falling.  Marinette held Richland to just 25 second-half points, while putting up 62 themselves.  Menominee native Levi Kempka led the Bucs' charge as he scored 13 points in the first six minutes of the second half, en route to a team-high 19 points.  UW-Marinette went on to win 105-57, advancing to 2-0 overall on the season.  Matt Newman finished with 18 points for the Bucs, Max Muelver added 15 and Thompson and Hunter Hass each added nine.

"It was a complete team effort, top to bottom, everybody contributed in some way.  It was a fun game to be a part of and a fun game to watch." Coach Wickstrom added, "It comes down to hustle, effort and attitude, and that carried throughout the second half and we played tremendous defense.  It was a solid defensive effort.  Offensively, shots were falling, defensively, we were coming up with turnovers, making some nice plays and pushing the ball up the court.  I'm very happy and extremely impressed with this group early in the year."

UW-Marinette will play at home on Wednesday, November 29 at 7:15 pm against the UW-Fox Valley Cyclones.


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