Trent Jones
Trent Jones

   As a member of the NCAA regional advisory committee that evaluates strength of schedule to see which teams gets ranked, Ryan Kane has noticed it’s better to play good teams and lose than it is to play poor teams and win.

   So when his team can pick up a win against a good opponent, it becomes that much more valuable.

   The Ripon College Red Hawk men’s basketball team did just that Tuesday as it defeated the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater Warhawks 71-70 on the road.

   It received a game-winning shot by Trent Jones with 36 seconds left and then came up with a stop in the final seconds to preserve the victory. The win marks its first over UW-Whitewater since the 1995-1996 season.

   Ripon had lost the past three meetings, including an 83-61 defeat by the Warhawks last year.

   “It’s a great win for our guys. It’s a great win for our program,” Kane said. “We kind of look for games like this every year that we can say, ‘OK, let’s challenge ourselves; let’s find a way to win.’ Two years ago we beat Oshkosh, last year we beat La Crosse, this year we beat Whitewater. We’re finding ways and guys are starting to believe.”

   From the opening tip, the Red Hawks (2-1 overall) didn’t show signs of being intimidated. They scored the first five points of the game and led for pretty much the entire first half, which included by as many as nine points at 24-15.

   Ripon ended up taking a 33-29 lead into the locker room.

   It was a stark difference from a season ago, when UW-Whitewater came into Ripon and punched the Red Hawks in the face in the first five minutes of the contest.

Read the full story in the Nov. 21, 2019 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.