STEVENS POINT, Wis. – The UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team tallied its 20th victory of the season as it knocked off UW-Superior 62-52 to advance to the semifinal round in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament on Wednesday evening on Bennett Court.
In the first half, both teams battled back-and-forth, as the score was tied four times and the lead twice.
The Pointers bench outscored the Yellowjackets 9-0 in the opening period, led by freshman Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) with five and Jason Zierner (Madison, WI/Verona) with four.
UWSP outshot UWS in the half connecting on 42.3 percent from the field compared to 30.4 for the Yellowjackets. The Pointers took an eight-point, 28-20 lead into halftime.
In the second, the Pointers added to their eight-point lead on Dan Tillema (Randolph, WI/Randolph/Minnesota-Duluth)'s three-pointer to give UWSP its largest lead of the game 41-26 with 13:59 remaining.
The Pointers held a 10-point advantage through much of the second half but the Yellowjackets tried to mount a comeback with just over six minutes left on the clock. Two Brendan Bauer free throws cut the lead to nine and with 4:15 remaining, Jarrod Peterson cut the lead to four with two more free throws.
D. Tillema and Jordan Brezinski (Muskego, WI/Muskego) then took over, outscoring the Yellowjackets 10-4 over the next 1:23 and regained a 10-point, 57-47 lead.
Austin Ryf (Winneconne, WI/Winneconne) knocked down four free throws in the final minutes to come away with a 62-52 victory.
D. Tillema led all scorers with 18 points on 8-of-15 shooting while pulling down seven rebounds. Brezinski recorded a double-double with 10 points and a team-high 10 rebounds. Ryf and Ritchay each added 10 points while Ritchay pulled down seven rebounds, four on the offensive side.
For the Yellowjackets, Ben Aalfs tallied 17 points and Bronson Byrne chipped in with 15. Dustin Ritchie pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds and added nine points.
The 20 wins for the Pointers marks the 10th time in the past 11 years UWSP has 20 or more wins.
UW-Stevens Point (20-6) returns to action on Friday evening as it travels to UW-River Falls to take on the second-seeded Falcons in the WIAC Semifinals. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
Courtesy: UWSP Sports Information