PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball team travels to UW-La Crosse on Tuesday for the first round of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament.
THE MATCH UP
Eagles won the tiebreaker over the Pioneers by having a better cumulative won/loss record versus teams placed higher in the conference standings earning the four-seed.
The Pioneers have met the Eagles in the first round of last two WIAC tournaments. Last year the Eagles won 70-63 in Platteville, Wis. and UW-Platteville beat UWL in 2011, 66-63, in La Crosse, Wis.
Both teams split during the regular season with UWL winning, 65-53, in La Crosse on Jan. 3 and the Pioneers winning 77-70 at home on Feb. 9.
SCOUTING THE EAGLES
UW-La Crosse has won four of their last five games and its loss came from the hands of the Pioneers earlier this month. The Eagles are led by seniors Joe Heiden and Lucas Morrissey. Heiden ranks ninth in the conference in scoring (12.6 ppg.) and seventh in assist (2.6 ppg.). Morrissey sits third in the league in rebounds (6.6 rpg) and blocks (1.2 bpg.) and seventh in steals (1.4 spg.).
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
The Pioneers have won six of their last eight games with their only losses coming from second-seeded UW-Whitewater and third-seeded UW-Stout. The Pioneers post the second best defense in the league and ninth best in the nation by only allowing 57.2 points per game. UW-Platteville holds its opponents to 41.3% from the floor, which is good for, second in the WIAC and 51st in the nation.
Junior Chas Cross leads the Pioneers and the WIAC in scoring (15.6 ppg.) and rebounding (8.2 rpg.). The Winnebago, Ill. native, ranks second in blocks (1.68 bpg.), fourth in field goal percentage (56.6%), and seventh in steals (1.36 spg.) in the league. Fellow junior Eric Gerber ranks second in steals (1.60 spg.) and assist/turnover ration (1.91) and fourth in assists (3.52 apg).
The winner will face travel to one-seed UW-Stevens Point on Thursday if three-seed UW-Stout defeats six-seed UW-Superior, but with a victory by UW-Superior will send the winner to two-seed UW-Whitewater.