Tyler Tillema (Randolph, WI/Randolph)
scored a team-high 22 points and surpassed the 1,000 career
points mark as the top-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team
moved to 7-0 with a 71-51 victory over Saint John's on Saturday at
Tillema entered the game 13 points shy of the 1,000 plateau and reached the milestone at the 8:05 mark of the opening half with a three-point play. The and-one capped a 13-point first half for Tillema, as the Pointers (7-0, 2-0 WIAC) took a 38-16 lead into halftime. Tillema is the 31st player in program history to eclipse 1,000 career points.
UW-Stevens Point led 16-10 at the 10:21 mark of the opening half and closed the half on a 22-6 run. UWSP shot 60.9 percent (14-for-23) in the first half and scored the first 12 points of the game, as Saint John's (3-5, 1-2 MIAC) did not get on the board until over five minutes into the game
The Pointers forced 15 SJU turnovers in the first half, including 10 steals, and turned them into 22 points. UWSP also outscored the Johnnies 16-6 in the paint before the half-time break.
In the second half, UW-Stevens Point led by as many as 26 at 46-20 with 17:09 remaining. Stephen Pelkofer (Hales Corner, WI/Whitnall) scored 11 of his season-high 13 points in the second half and made all six of his shots from the field.
The closest Saint John's got in the second half was 17 on a couple occasions but could not get any closer playing without its top two scorers. Alex Schmitt led the Johnnies with a career-high 22 points on 6-for-10 shooting, including 4-for-7 from behind the arc.
UWSP shot 52.8 percent from the field in the game but shot 3-for-14 (21.4 percent) from three-point range. The Pointers outrebounded the Johnnies 32-24, led by Sean McGann (Baraboo, WI/Baraboo)'s season-high six boards.
Defensively, UW-Stevens Point limited Saint John's to 40.5 percent shooting from the floor, including 29.4 percent on three-pointers. The Johnnies bench outscored the Pointers' 33-25 in the game.
UWSP hosts No. 12 St. Thomas this coming Saturday before traveling to Las Vegas over the break. The game between the Pointers and Tommies begins at 7 p.m. at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse.