PLATTEVILLE — After spending most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble, sophomore guard Robert Duax (Dubuque/Hempstead) scored 13 of his team-high 16 points in the second half to lead UW–Platteville's valiant comeback effort.
Coach Jeff Gard's Pioneers erased a nine-point halftime deficit and took a 58–54 lead with 8:40 left in the game, but the visiting UW–Stout Blue Devils outscored the Pioneers 19–12 the rest of the way to escape with a 73–70 WIAC victory Saturday night at Bo Ryan Court to spoil UW–Platteville Alumni Day.
The Pioneers fell to 8–11 on the season and 1–7 in the WIAC with their third straight loss, while UW–Stout improved to 13–6 and 4–4.
Duax finished with 16 points, three rebounds and two assists despite being limited to just 19 minutes with early foul trouble. Senior forward Cory Vaassen (Dickeyville/Cuba City) posted a double–double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in a team-high 35 minutes for the home team, freshman Carter Voelker (Kiel) scored nine points and grabbed five boards.
Junior guard Matt Oestreich (Marshfield) returned to the lineup after missing the last 4-plus games with a shoulder injury and scored eight points and had two steals in 21 minutes off the bench. Fellow junior guard Trey Sigel (Rock Island, Ill.) hit a pair of 3-pointers and also finished with eight points. Junior forward Dan Lowe (Byron, Ill.) chipped in seven points and six rebounds.
Six-foot-8 center Jacob Nordstrom scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Pioneers and five rebounds to lead the Blue Devils. Senior guard Brett Ahsenmacher had 11 points and four boards, and junior John Keefe finished with a near double–double of nine points and nine rebounds.
UW–Platteville will return to action Wednesday night at 7 p.m. when red-hot UW–Whitewater (16–3, 5–3 WIAC) comes to Bo Ryan Court. The Warhawks scored their fifth-straight victory Saturday night with a 67–62 decision at UW–La Crosse.
By Jason Nihles, UW–Platteville Athletics