Junior guard Jordan Thomas scored a game-high 28 points, but was one of only two Carthage College players in double figures Tuesday night in the Red Men’s 77-71 loss to 10th-ranked UW-River Falls at Page Arena in River Falls.

Thomas and senior forward Brad Kruse, who scored 17 points, were the only two Red Men players to score in double figures.

River Falls, the defending Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Association champion and the favorite to repeat this season, had four players in double figures, led by Alex Herink’s 23 points. Brennan Witt added 21, Devin Buckley had 14 and Clay Seifert had 10 for the Falcons (5-1).

Carthage (3-2) trailed by nine at halftime and kept it close in the second half, pulling within two points at 45-43 with 10:29 left on Jordan Vedder’s 3-pointer.

But River Falls, which shot 9 for 24 from 3-point range, continued to pull away, building leads of up to 17 points at 65-48 with 3:49 left before the Red Men closed the gap in the final minutes.

Thomas’ 3-pointer with four seconds left pulled the Red Men within six points.

Thomas was 9 for 18 from the field, including 3 for 9 from 3-point range, and was 7 for 9 from the free-throw line. He also led the Red Men with eight rebounds.

Herink was 4 for 6 from 3-point range for the Falcons.

UW-River Falls 77, Carthage 71

CARTHAGE (3-2)

Thomas 9-18 7-9 28, Shasi 1-4 2-2 5, Kruse 6-11 4-5 17, Leazer 0-5 0-0 0, Perry 3-6 1-4 7, Mason 3-5 0-0 8, Best 0-1 0-0 0, Polglase 0-3 0-0 0, Canady 0-0 0-0 0, Johnson 0-0 3-3 3, Kastratovic 0-0 0-0 0, Vedder 1-4 0-0 3. Totals 23-57 17-23 71.

RIVER FALLS (5-1)

Seifert 4-7 2-3 10, Buckley 4-8 4-4 14, Herink 7-12 5-7 23, Keller 2-6 0-0 5, Witt 5-10 9-9 21, Timlin 0-2 0-0 0, Laymon 0-1 0-0 0, Moldenhauer 0-2 0-0 0, Heidecker 1-3 2-2 4, Jackson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-52 22-25 77.

Halftime—River Falls 32, Carthage 23. 3-point goals—Carthage 8-32 (Thomas 3-9, Shasi 1-3, Kruse 1-4, Leazer 0-5, Mason 2-4, Best 0-1, Polglase 0-3, Vedder 1-3), River Falls 9-24 (Seifert 0-2, Buckley 2-4, Herink 4-6, Keller 1-4, Witt 2-4, Timlin 0-1, Laymon 0-1, Moldenhauer 0-2). Total fouls—Carthage 23, River Falls 23. Fouled out—Herink. Rebounds—Carthage 31 (Thomas 8), River Falls 38 (Witt 11). Assists—Carthage 7 (Kruse, Leazer 2), River Falls 14 (Buckley 7). A—322.

Women’s basketball

CARTHAGE: Sophomore guard Madie Kaelber was selected the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin (CCIW) Women’s Basketball Player of the Week Monday.

Kaelber, a graduate of Kenosha Indian Trail High School, scored 16 points and had three assists and four steals in a 67-49 victory over Coe on Nov. 21 and had a career-high 33 points, three rebounds, two assists and three steals in the Lady Reds’ 96-90 double overtime loss to 22nd-ranked University of Chicago Sunday.

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