Four put-back attempts that came up short on their second possession of the game proved to be an omen for the contest as the University of Wisconsin-Platteville menís basketball team dropped a 71-57 decision to No. 11 UW-Stevens Point on Wednesday night at Bo Ryan Court.
The Pioneers (9-8, 3-5 WIAC) were led in scoring by senior Matt Weik, who had nine points off the bench. UW-Stevens Point held UW-Platteville to a season-low 33.9% shooting from the field.
The Pointers (14-3, 7-1 WIAC) had four players in double figures in the win including Dan Tillema, who had a game-high 16 points to lead UW-Stevens Point. He was joined by Tyler Tillema, who added 14, Jordan Brezinski and Trevor Haas scored 12 and 11 points, respectively. Brezinski also had a game-high 12 rebounds in the win. The Pointers entered the game as the second-best shooting team from the field in the WIAC and shot over a 50% clip for the ninth time on the season with a 52.1% effort in the contest.
UW-Platteville went ahead 2-0 when junior Rob Stallion scored on layup on a fifth put-back attempt with 18:43 to play in the first half for the Pioneers only lead. The two teams went back and forth for the next five minutes but the Pointers pulled ahead when Dan Tillema made two free throws with 13:01 to play in the opening stanza for an 8-6 lead.
Then, UW-Stevens Point clamped down on the defensive end and went on a game-deciding 25-7 run over the next nine minutes. Despite the run, the Pioneers scored the final 10 points of the half to the halftime break with a 43-33 halftime deficit. In the half-ending spurt, freshmen Matt Savatski and Jim Stocki each hit a 3-pointer.
Early in the second half, UW-Stevens Points scored 10 unanswered points to end a comeback effort by the Pioneers, who would be unable to get the deficit under double digits. Four Pointer starters combined for 36 of the 38 points for UW-Stevens Point compared to just 13 for the Pioneers.
The Pioneers will look to snap a three-game losing streak on Saturday at 3 p.m. when they host UW-Superior. Earlier this year, the Yellow Jackets defeated the Pioneers, 64-61, on January 7th in Superior. Saturday is also Alumni Day at Bo Ryan Court and the annual alumni game will tipoff at 10 a.m. and former Pioneers will be recognized at halftime.
Boxscore | Photos by Andy McNeill | Video highlights by UW-Platteville Sports Information Office