A half-court 3-pointer by UW-Platteville senior Brett Stangel sent a non-conference game against host Otterbein on Wednesday night into overtime. The mid-court heroics were not enough as the Pioneers dropped a 71-69 overtime decision to the Cardinals in the Smokey Ballenger Tournament and sends UW-Platteville to Thursday's third-place game against Albion College.
Stangel was in double figures for the 11th time on the season with a game-high 27 points to lead UW-Platteville, who falls to 7-5. He was joined in double digits by sophomore Eric Gerber, who scored 14 points.
Otterbein landed three players in double figures including a double double from Chris Davis with 16 points and a game-high 14 rebounds to improve to 5-5. Also in double figurees was Brice Rousch scored 19 points to lead the Cardinals and RaNeal Ewing added 13. The win sends the Cardinals to the championship game against NCAC rival Ohio Wesleyan.
The Pioneers and Cardinals exchanged leads throughout the first 20 minutes before the home team scored six of the final eight points of the half to put Otterbein up by a 31-24 margin at the break.
Despite a seven-point halftime deficit, the Pioneers cut into the lead and eventually lowered the deficit to one on a pair of occasions. UW-Platteville picked up its first lead since the 13:32 mark of the first half when Gerber made a layup with 3:58 to play in regulation.
The game went back and forth for the rest of the contest. Ohio native Rob Stallion made a layup with five seconds to play to cut the deficit to three. Then, the Pioneers fouled Ewing who missed two free throws and Chas Cross picked up a rebound and handed the ball off to an alert Stangel. The Monroe, Wisconsin native brought the ball up the court and released the shot with less than a second remaining to send the game into overtime.
In the overtime, the Cardinals' scored 10 points - six of them from the free-throw line en route to the win. A last-second 3 pointer by Stangel came up short in a second attempt at last-second heroics for the Pioneers.