The University of Wisconsin-Platteville menís basketball team dropped a 57-56 decision to UW-La Crosse on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals of the WIAC Tournament at Bo Ryan Court.
The Pioneers (14-12) were victims of 19 turnovers Ė including 15 in the first 20 minutes in the loss. Senior Brett Stangel scored 17 points in his final game in the blue and orange. Plus, sophomore Chas Cross added 11 points off the bench.
The Monroe native nearly led UW-Platteville into overtime when he was fouled attempting a 3 pointer with 12 seconds to go. He made two of three free throws to cut an Eagles lead to one. After an alert foul with 10 seconds to go, the Eagles missed the front end of a 1-in-1.
Junior Rob Stallion came down with the rebound and the Pioneers were unable to get off a shot at a game-winning basket.
The Eagles (17-9) were led by the tandem of Al Chery and Cory Degner, who had 16 and 15 points, respectively. UW-La Crosse, who had lost to the Pioneers twice in the regular season and in the 2011 quarterfinals in La Crosse, went on a 13-3 spurt during the middle of the first 20 minutes to build a 31-17 lead.
Degner scored the first points of each half as UW-La Crosse held a 15-point lead with 19:41 to play with a 35-20 advantage. However, the Pioneers rallied behind on the strength of its home crowd and went on a 15-4 run later that ended with a 3-point play by Chas Cross. The run cut the UW-La Crosse lead to one, 46-45 with 6:49 to go.
Not until Stangel hit his first 3 pointer of the game and Cross made a layup to give UW-Platteville a 54-53 advantage for the Pioneers first lead since 9-8 at the 15:31 mark of the first half. However, the Eagles came back to take the lead for the rest of the game when Logan Ellman made two free throws with 41 seconds to go.