PLATTEVILLE – Freshman Robert Duax (Dubuque, Iowa/Hempstead) scored eight of his game-high 22 points in overtime to lead the University of Wisconsin-Platteville men's basketball team to a key 78-75 WIAC road win at UW-Whitewater Wednesday night.
Duax, who missed the first seven games of the season with an ankle injury, made a layup with 56 seconds left in regulation to give the Pioneers a 64-61 lead and a pair of free throws by senior guard Boston Johnson (Oshkosh/North) made it a 66-63 with 18 seconds remaining.
But UW-Whitewater's Haki Stampley's buried a three-pointer with 10 seconds left to send the game to overtime tied at 66-66.
The host Warhawks took an early one-point lead 15 seconds into the extra session on a free throw by Jerry Ngobi.
UW-Platteville recaptured a one-point lead on the ensuing possession on a Johnson jumper, then Duax added a pair of free throws to make it 70-67 with 3:34 left.
Duax made two more from the line to make it 72-69, then after a UW-Whitewater basket by Drew Bryson, junior Cory Vaassen (Dickeyville/Cuba City) scored in the paint to keep the Pioneers in front by three.
Duax made a layup with 1:33 remaining to extend the UWP lead to five at 76-71. UW-Whitewater cut the Pioneer lead to one on a Ngobi layup and a pair of Stampley free throws, but Duax again had ice water in his veins, making two from the charity stripe with five seconds left to account for the 78-75 final score.
The Warhawks called timeout to set up one final play, but this time Stampley's potential game-tying three-pointer missed the mark as time expired.
Coach Jeff Gard's Pioneers improved to 10-8 overall and 4-3 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and have now won four straight after beginning conference play 0-3. UWP is now a game out of first-place after league-leading UW-River Falls (11-7, 5-2 WIAC) fell to UW-La Crosse (11-7, 5-2) 66-54 on Wednesday night.
The Warhawks fell to 12-6 overall and 3-4 in league play.
Johnson, the reigning WIAC men's basketball Player of the Week, finished with 18 points, six assists and five rebounds and played all but one minute for the Pioneers. Vaassen added 12 points and a team-high nine boards.
Sophomore guard Matt Oestreich (Marshfield) added nine points, three rebounds and two assists.
Trinson White led the Warhawks with 20 points and nine rebounds. Stampley added 19 points and seven boards in a losing effort.
The Pioneers will look to keep their WIAC winning streak alive in a home game Saturday against UW-La Crosse (11-7, 5-2). Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Saturday is also Alumni Day at UW-Platteville and Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Day.
Written By: Jason Nihles, UW-Platteville Sports Information Assistant