UW-Platteville beat host Coe College 80-72 Saturday afternoon, ending the first semester with an 8-1 record, the Pioneers' best start since an undefeated beginning to the 2008-09 campaign.
Alex Ranney, who had scored 37 points in the first eight games, exploded for 19 points. The freshman from Lake Mills, Wisconsin, made 7-8 from the field, including 3-4 three-point shots. Quentin Shields also had a big game off the bench, scoring 11 points and making four steals. Reserve Justin Stovall added nine points, as the Pioneer bench outscored the Kohawks' 47-22. Starters Matt Oestreich and Robert Duax each contributed nine points to the balanced Pioneer attach.
Trevor Haaland led Coe (4-6) in scoring with 17 points. The Kohawks led 34-31 at the half and still led 53-46 in the second period, before the Pioneers came back. Ranney and Oestreich made back-to-back three-pointers, cutting the deficit to 53-52. Shields' layup gave the Pioneers the lead at 54-53, and Clay Gerds extended it to 57-53 with another three-pointer.
Coe came within 69-67 with 2:27 to play on a Spencer Williams layup, but Duax and Oestreich each made a pair of free throws to extend the margin to 73-67.
Coach Jeff Gard's Pioneers break for finals week and the holiday before playing Ripon (Dec. 29, 7 p.m.) and St. Mary's (Dec. 30, 3 p.m.) in the Just A Game Classic in Wisconsin Dells.
By Paul Erickson, Director, UW-Platteville Communications, 608.342.1194, firstname.lastname@example.org