Basketball Gameday: Wisconsin-River Falls at St. John’s

Wisconsin-River Falls (1-2) at St. John’s (1-2)

Game time: 7 p.m., Tuesday, at Sexton Arena.

Broadcast: WBHR-AM 660.

About the Johnnies: St. John’s plays its first home game of the season. The Johnnies are coming off a 96-87 loss at Minnesota-Morris last Thursday. Sophomore Alex Schmitt led the way with 23 points off the bench in that game. He leads the team in scoring with an average of 19.3 points per game. But St. John’s is without senior Seth Marx and sophomore Mitchell Kuck — the team’s two leading scorers last season — due to injury.

 “Seth and Mitchell are two kids who work so hard,” Johnnies coach Jim Smith said. “And they are both such important parts of our team. It’s just a very difficult thing. But what can you do about it? You just have to go on.

“Our players have realized that other guys will have to step up. The good thing is it gives us a chance to develop our depth. But I’d certainly prefer not to have to do it this way.”

Starting lineup

PG – Kevin McKenzie (5-8, 155, Sr., Notre Dame Academy, Wis. H.S.) 6.0 ppg 1.3 rpg

W – Jack Wittenborg (6-1, 175, Sr., Bloomington Jefferson H.S.) 9.3 ppg 3.0 rpg

W – Patrick Butcher (6-0, 180, Sr., St. Xavier, Kent. H.S.) 9.0 ppg 2.3 rpg

P – Joe Risinger (6-6, 175, So., Minnetonka H.S.) 5.3 ppg 3.7 rpg

P – Blake Maslonkowski (6-5, 225, Jr., St. Cloud Apollo H.S.) 12.0 ppg 7.7 rpg

About the Falcons: Wisconsin-River Falls is coming off a 75-69 loss to St. Thomas Saturday. The Falcons are led by senior forward Ollie White, who is averaging 16.7 points per game.

Sophomore center Connor Goodwin — a Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa graduate — is averaging six points and 3.3 rebounds per game.

The Falcons went 8-17 a year ago after posting two 20-win seasons in a row in 2010-11 and 2011-12. 

“River Falls is a good team,” Smith said. “We expect this game to be a real challenge.”

Starting lineup

G – Devin Buckley (6-2, 200, Fr., Park Center H.S.) 5.3 ppg 2.0 rpg

G – Grant Erickson (5-9, 170, Fr., Lakeville North H.S.) 7.0 ppg 3.7 rpg

F – Ben Gresmer (6-5, 180, Sr., Hudson, Wis. H.S.) 6.7 ppg 3.0 rpg

F – Ollie White (6-7, 210, Sr., Mound-Westonka H.S.) 16.7 ppg 7.3 rpg

C – Connor Goodwin (6-7, 210, So., Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa H.S.) 6.0 ppg 3.3 rpg

Frank Rajkowski

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