The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneers' men's basketball team opened their season with an exhibition against NCAA Division I's University of Illinois-Chicago Wednesday.
The Pioneers lost the exhibition 56-49, but played well against an upper division opponent. Junior forward/center Chas Cross led the Pioneers with 19 points, including going 3-6 behind the arc, and was tied for the team lead with three assists. Cross went 8-16 from the field.
Sophomore guard Jim Stocki was second on the team with eight points, and was tied for the squad lead with five rebounds.
Junior Brad Reinke and freshmen Darin Haugh and Cory Vaassen proved to be the key reserves for the Pioneers.
Reinke provided four points and four rebounds; Haugh added five points and Vaassen contributed two points, three rebounds and two assists in 19 minutes of action.
Despite the Flames' having a height advantage in players like six-foot-eight-inch Hayden Humes and six-foot-10-inch Will Simonton, the Pioneers' defense held those players to just six points combined.
The Pioneers play their first official game Thursday, Nov. 15, against Emmaus Bible College, the first game of the Gabe Miller Tip-Off Classic.