Four players scored in double figures to lead the University of Wisconsin-Platteville men’s basketball team to a 73-61 win over Albion College on Thursday to secure third-place honors in the Smokey Ballenger Tournament hosted by Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.
The Pioneers (8-5) went on a 17-4 run in the final nine minutes of the game to pull away with the win. Senior B.J. Litz came off the bench to lead UW-Platteville with a team-high 15 points. It was the third time on the season that the Cedarburg native has been in double figures.
Litz was joined in double digits by freshman Jake Manning, who went 6-for-6 from the field for 14 points, sophomore Eric Gerber nearly had a double double with 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds and senior Brett Stangel added 10.
The Britons (4-7) was led by junior Anthony Wash, who had 21 points –including 14 in the first 20 minutes to lead the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference foe.
Albion built up a seven-point lead, 43-36, early in the second half until the Pioneers got a spark from its bench in Litz and freshman Matt Savataski. The duo worked together and ignited an 8-0 run to put UW-Platteville in front, 46-45 with 11:05 to play, for the first time since 1:49 was left in the first half.
Next up for the Pioneers is a return to the rigors of the WIAC when they host UW-La Crosse on Wednesday, Jan. 4 at 7:30 p.m. at Bo Ryan Court.