No. 13 University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point scored 14 of the last 16 points in the first half en route to a 70-54 win over the University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball team at Bennett Court in Stevens Point, Wisc.
The Pointers (17-4, 10-2 WIAC) shot 50% from the field in the win and held the Pioneers to 35%. Four players for UW-Stevens Point scored in double digits to contribute to the win. Dan Tillema scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Pointers. He was joined in double figures by Jordan Brezinski with 15 and Austin Ryf and Tyler Tillema each added 11.
The Pioneers (11-10, 5-7 WIAC) got a team-high 14 from senior Matt Weik off the bench including a career-best four 3-pointers in the defeat. Freshman Jake Manning had his third career double double in his young career with 10 points and 11 rebounds.
After a jumper by sophomore Eric Gerber extended a Pioneer lead to three, 18-15, the Pointers regained the lead for the rest of the contest on a five-point spurt that included a jumper by Dan Tillema and a 3-pointer by Ryf that ignited the home team. With the offensive spark, the Pointers clamped down on the defensive end as they held UW-Platteville to just two points in the final 7:56 of the half.
Following the halftime break, the UW-Stevens Point scored five of the first seven points in the final 20 minutes to stretch the lead to double digits. The Pioneers managed to cut the deficit to six, 34-28, when Manning made a layup with 16:58 to go.
However, the Pointers retaliated from the threat when Dan Tillema hit his second 3-pointer of the game to stop the Pioneers from getting any closer. In addition, UW-Stevens Point made 11 of 12 free throws in the second half.
Next, the Pioneers will play three of its next four games at home, starting with a 6 p.m. matchup against UW-Stout, who they defeated 63-53 on December 10 in Menomonie.