A last-second 3 point attempt by Brett Stangel came up short as the University of Wisconsin-Platteville menís basketball team dropped a 64-61 decision to host UW-Superior on Saturday afternoon at Mertz Mortorelli Gym.
The Pioneers (9-6, 3-3 WIAC) found themselves behind 12, 55-43, with 5:43 to play before a 12-3 run cut the deficit to three, 58-55 when junior Rob Stallion made a layup. After a UW-Platteville timeout, the Yellow Jackets went back in front on a pair of free throws; however, the Pioneers failed to concede. Sophomore Chas Cross made a layup with 44 seconds to go, cutting the deficit again to three.
UW-Superior (10-5) on its ensuing possession went back to the free-throw line when Dustin Ritchie was fouled. He made the first but missed the second, Cross picked up the rebound and senior Brett Stangel hit a jumper to cut the deficit to two, 61-59, with 21 seconds to play. After both teams called a timeout, the Yellow Jackets managed to extend the lead back to four, 63-59, when Ritchie made both free throws with 15 seconds to go.
Then, the Pioneers again cut the deficit to two, 63-61, when Stangel made a pair of free throws with nine seconds to play. Next, immediately the Pioneers fouled Ritchie, who made one of two free throws and Gerber came down the rebound and sent up a last-second 3 pointer that came up short to end the contest.
In the loss, UW-Platteville was held to 38.6% shooting from the field. Cross and Stangel each scored 19 points to lead the Pioneers in the defeat.
The Yellow Jackets were able to land three players in double figures including Ben Aalfs, who had 17 points in the win. Dustin Ritchie and Bronson Byrne each added 11 for UW-Superior, who overcame a one-point halftime deficit and shot a blistering 76.5% (13-for-17) from the field for the win.
The Pioneers will look to bounce back and return to its winning ways when they travel to UW-Whitewater on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at 7 p.m.