Head coach Bob Semling earned his 200th career win, tying Jack Bennett for the most in program history, as No. 1 UW-Stevens Point escaped with a 61-60 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) win over UW-Stout on Wednesday night at Johnson Fieldhouse.
The Pointers (13-0, 4-0 WIAC) trailed 60-59 in the final minute before Tyler Tillema (Randolph, WI/Randolph) hit a jumper with 15 seconds remaining. Following a pair of timeouts, UW-Stout's Alex Oman missed a three-pointer and UWSP rebounded the miss and committed a foul. Trevor Hass (New London, WI/New London/Augustana (SD)) then missed two free throws but Oman missed another three with one second left as UW-Stevens Point held on for the one-point win.
UW-Stout (8-5, 3-2 WIAC) led as many as 11 in the first half and held a 48-42 advantage with 7:51 left. UW-Stevens Point then scored the next six points on two buckets by Hass and a layup by Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) to tie the score. The largest lead the rest of the way for either team was Stout's 55-52 lead with 3:30 to go and the Blue Devils were tied or held the lead for the final 10 minutes of the game until Tillema's jumper.
Hass scored a team-high 19 points for UWSP on 6-for-11 shooting from the field and 5-for-8 from the free-throw line. Tillema scored 11 of his 17 points in the second half and added five rebounds and four assists. Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) chipped in with 12 points, three rebounds and three assists.
Oman led the Blue Devils with a game-high 20 points, including 16 in the second half, and also hauled in a game-best six rebounds. Brett Ahsenmacher went 4-for-6 from behind the arc to score 12 for UW-Stout.
UW-Stevens Point's largest lead in the game came in the opening five-plus minutes of the game when the Pointers led by five on two occasions. UWSP led 9-7 before UW-Stout went on a 14-1 run to take a 21-10 lead, its' largest of the game. Five different Blue Devils players scored during the run and the Pointers missed five shots in a row and committed a pair of turnovers before a three from Hass snapped a drought of 5:46 without a field goal.
UW-Stevens Point shot a season-low 47.9 percent from the floor and scored a season-low 61 points. UWSP shot 7-for-14 from behind the arc but shot just 53.3 percent (8-for-15) from the free-throw line. The Pointers used 18-10 and 16-8 advantages in points in the paint and points off turnovers in the win.
UW-Stout shot 52.6 percent from the field, including 61.1 percent in the opening half, and made nine of 18 threes. The Blue Devils bench outscored UWSP's 25-6 in the game.
Semling's 200th win came in his ninth season with the Pointers after taking over for Jack Bennett following the 2005 national championship season. Entering this season, Semling's .799 winning percentage ranked second among active coaches.
UW-Stevens Point looks to remain unbeaten as it travels to Superior on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off between the Pointers and Yellowjackets is at 3 p.m.
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