PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball team heads to UW-Stevens Point on Thursday for the semifinals of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament.
THE MATCH UP
The Pioneers and the Pointers split their season series with both teams winning on their respective home floors.
In the first meeting, the game had 15 lead changes and eight ties with UWSP coming out on top 65-60. Free throws proved to be the difference in the contest as UWSP sunk 15-16 and the Pioneers 9-15; with both teams' shooting over 45-percent from the field and over 58-percent from beyond the arc.
In the last meeting points were at a premium with the Pioneers leading 17-13 at halftime, and UW-Platteville edging out the Pointers 54-46. Both teams found their rhyme in the second-half and double their output in the final 20 minutes. The Pioneers scored 25 of their 37 second-half points from the free throw line while UWSP had four of its 11 fields come from beyond the arc.
The last time the Pioneers and UWSP met in the WIAC Tournament was in the 2009 championship. UW-Stevens Point came out on top, 45-42, for the lowest winning score in tournament history.
- UW-Platteville is now 6-8 in the quarterfinals and is 3-3 in the semifinals
- UW-Stevens Point is 8-5 in the semifinals
- The last time the one-seed fell in the semifinals was in 2005 when UW-Whitewater upset top-seeded UW-Platteville, 89-76
- The last time the Pioneers defeated the one-seed was in 2004 over UW-River Falls, 65-62.
- The last time UW-Stevens Point fell in the semifinals as the one-seed was in 2003 to four-seed UW-Oshkosh, 62-57.
- Since the WIAC Tournament inception in 1999 the top-seed has made it to the finals 10 times and won the tournament eight times
SCOUTING THE POINTERS
UW-Stevens Point is ranked 10th by D3hoops.com and has been ranked as high as fifth two times this year. The Pointers are one of the most well balanced teams in the nation. They rank 18th in field goal percentage (48.6), 19th in scoring defense (59.7 ppg), 20th in assist turnover ratio (1.3) and fifth in turnovers per game (10.2) in the country. UWSP have three starters scoring over 10 points per game. Trevor Hass leads the team with 12 points per contest. Joe Ritchay averages 11.3 points and Clayton Heuer averages 11.1 points.
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
The Pioneers defeated UW-La Crosse, 60-58, in the first round of the WIAC tournament on Tuesday in Mitchell Hall. Junior Chas Cross and sophomore Jim Stocki led the Pioneers with recording a double-double each. Cross scored a game-high 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. The Winnebago, Ill. native, hauled in nine offensive and five defensive boards. Stocki went 5-7 from the floor for 15 points and recorded 10 rebounds. The Pioneers post the second best defense in the league and seventh best in the nation by only allowing 57.2 points per game.
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 74th in the nation assist/turnover ration (1.91) and fourth in the conference in assists (3.52 apg).
The winner will face the winner of two-seed UW-Whitewater and three-seed UW-Stout on Saturday.