EAU CLAIRE (PRESS RELEASE) – Three Pointers scored in double figures on Wednesday evening, led by Louis Hurd's 24 as the UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team escaped Zorn Arena with an 83-70 victory over UW-Eau Claire.
The win sets up a match-up of epic proportions on Saturday when the Pointers (19-3, 11-2 WIAC) host league-leading UW-River Falls (19-3, 12-1 WIAC) in what could determine the league's regular season championship and put the winner in the driver seat to secure the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament.
UW-Stevens Point built an early eight point lead, 10-2, before Eau Claire battled back to tie the score at 12-12 with 13:37 to go in the opening half. Six ties and eight lead changes in the first half marked a back-and-forth battle the remainder of the first half with neither team leading by more than five. UW-Stevens Point took a 35-32 edge into halftime.
In the second half, with the score tied at 41-41, UW-Stevens Point took a quick five point lead thanks to baskets from Tyler Tillema and Jerrel Harris. The Pointers never looked back from there, as they pushed the lead to double digits at the 8:27 mark and held the lead near there, securing their largest lead by the final buzzer, securing the 13 point victory.
Hurd finished the night 10-of-16 from the floor and 4-of-7 from three-point land on his way to a season-high 24. Tyler Tillema added 18 points and five rebounds. Harris chipped in 16 and added four steals. Nick Krull and Scott Hoelzel each collected a team-high seven rebounds on the evening.
Nick Craggs had a team-high 17 points for the Blugolds in the loss.
The Pointers and Falcons of UW-River Falls take to Bennett Court in Quandt Fieldhouse on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m.