***FROM THE UW-STEVENS POINT ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT***
Five players scored in double figures and the top-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team held No. 7 St. Thomas to a season-low point total in a 75-62 non-conference win on Saturday night at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse.
Tyler Tillema scored a game-high 21 points on 7-for-12 shooting from the field and was 7-7 from the line for the Pointers (8-0). Trevor Hass and Austin Ryf (Winneconne, WI/Winneconne) each scored a dozen, while Clayton Heuer and Sean McGann each added 11. The Tommies (6-2) were averaging nearly 79 points a game and had scored over 70 in each game this season.
UW-Stevens Point led by as many as 20 in the second half and shot 55.1 percent from the floor in the game. St. Thomas got as close as seven early in the second half but UWSP quickly got the lead back to double digits and led by double digits for the final 15 minutes of the game. The win was the second victory against a top-10 team this season for the Pointers.
The Pointers took a 37-28 lead into the break after shooting 55.6 percent in the opening half. St. Thomas then got within seven after back-to-back layups by Zach Riedeman and Conner Nord at the 18:00 mark. However, Tillema scored five quick points to stretch the lead back to 13.
Holding a 12-point lead with 8:52 to go, UW-Stevens Point put the game away with a 10-2 run to take its biggest lead of the game at 70-50 with 3:08 to play. Hass keyed the spurt with five straight points. The Tommies hit a pair of threes in the final minute and change to account for the final margin.
In the first half, St. Thomas held its only lead of the game at 5-4 just over two minutes into the game. With the score tied at 11, the Pointers outscored the Tommies 21-7 over an 11-minute stretch to take its largest lead of the first half at 32-18 with three minute until halftime.
St. Thomas got it down to six with 1:02 left until halftime with a 10-2 run of its own. Riedeman and Taylor Montero each hit threes for the Tommies before the Pointers increased their lead to nine at the break.
In addition to Tillema's sixth 20-point game of the season, Ryf shot 5-for-8 from the field for his 12 points, while also contributing a season-high six assists and four rebounds. Hass made a pair of threes and four free throws on his way to his eighth double-figure scoring game.
Heuer scored six of his 11 in the first five-plus minutes and added a three-pointer as the Pointers stretched their lead in the second half. McGann's 11 points were a career-high and the sophomore made all four of his field goals.
Riedeman led St. Thomas with 15 points on 6-for-13 shooting from the floor. Marcus Alipate added 14 points, including nine in the final three minutes, on two threes and eight free throws.
UW-Stevens Point travels to Las Vegas for games against Whitworth and Whitman on Dec. 28-29.