LA CROSSE, Wis. – A 12-point deficit was too much for the University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball team to overcome as the Pioneers fell to UW-La Crosse, 65-53, on Thursday night in Mitchell Hall at La Crosse, Wis.
The Pioneers' Chas Cross earned his first double-double of the year by tallying a team-high 17 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Rob Stallion scored 10 points while Eric Gerber added nine points of his own. The Eagles' Jeff Heiden dropped a game-high 23 points, followed by Trent Schmidt with 17 points.
The Pioneers took their only lead of the game 14-13 with 8:26 left in the first-half after overcoming a six-point hole. The Eagles responded with a four-minute 8-0 run, taking a 21-14 lead. UW-Platteville kept UWL from expanding its lead, 24-18, but a pair of Heiden three-pointers gave the Eagles a 30-18 lead with just a minute left till the break. UW-La Crosse outscored the Pioneers 15-0 on second chance points, helping UWL take a 32-20 lead into intermission.
The Pioneers came out firing in the first two minutes of the second-half and cut their deficit to a two possesion game, 32-26. The Eagles stopped UW-Platteville's surge with a 9-0 run, taking their largest lead of the game, 41-26, with just under 15 minutes to play. Cross converted a three-point play the hard way to get the Pioneers within five, 54-49, with 3:27 left in the contest. The Eagles bounced right back and put the game out of reach by making 8-10 free throw attempts in the closing stretch and earning the 65-53 victory.
The Pioneers return to Bo Ryan Court and Williams Fieldhouse on Saturday when they take on UW-Superior at 1 p.m.