The top-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team pulled away from visiting UW-Superior in the second half and earned its 20th win of the season with a 63-46 win on Saturday afternoon at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse.
UW-Stevens Point (20-0, 11-0 WIAC) trailed UW-Superior (5-14, 2-8 WIAC) early in the second half but used a pair of runs to run away with the win in a game that featured seven ties and 10 lead changes. Trevor Hass and Joe Ritchay each scored 17 points to lead the Pointers, who shot a season-low 39.7 percent from the field in the game.
Trailing 29-27 early in the second half, UW-Stevens Point went on an 8-0 run over the span of three minutes to take a six-point lead. Tyler Tillema scored his first points of the game on back-to-back layups to cap the run.
The Yellowjackets hung around and trailed 43-35 with just over eight minutes to play but a second run by the Pointers put the game out of reach. Hass keyed a 9-1 UWSP run with a layup and a three-point play as UW-Stevens Point built up a 52-36 advantage with under six minutes remaining.
The Pointers outscored the Yellowjackets 20-10 in the paint in the second half and 15-5 on second chance points, as 11 of UWSP's 15 offensive rebounds came in the second half. UW-Stevens Point also knocked down 10-of-14 free throws after the break.
Neither team led by more four points in a low-scoring first half. UW-Superior led 12-8 midway through the first half after back-to-back layups by Jarrod Peterson, who led the Yellowjackets with 16 points and seven rebounds.
UW-Stevens Point then scored eight consecutive points to take a four-point lead of its own. Stephen Pelkofer's buzzer-beating three-pointer gave the Pointers a 25-22 lead at halftime. Pelkofer, Ritchay and Hass combined to score 23 of UWSP's 25 first-half points, as both teams shot below 40 percent in the opening half and for the game.
Ritchay's 17 points came on 7-for-9 shooting from the field, while Hass was 6-for-16 from the floor. Hass also collected six rebounds and grabbed five steals. His five steals accounted for five of UW-Superior's 22 turnovers in the game.
UW-Stevens Point takes to the road to face No. 10 UW-Whitewater on Wednesday night at 7 p.m. in the second meeting of the season with both teams ranked in the top 10. The top-ranked Pointers topped the eighth-ranked Warhawks 79-67 at home on Dec. 11.
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