STEVENS POINT, Wis. – In a meeting of the top two ranked teams in the country, the UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team went on a run midway through the first half and led by double digits for the final 28:11 of a 74-57 win over UW-Whitewater in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Tournament championship game on Sunday afternoon at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse. With the win, UW-Stevens Point (26-1) added its eighth WIAC Tournament title to its 28th regular-season championship. Senior Tyler Tillema (Randolph, WI/Randolph) led all scorers with 23 points on 8-for-15 shooting and added 12 rebounds, three assists and four steals in 39 minutes. The Pointers secured the WIAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament, which begins next weekend. UWSP will find out where and who it will play in the tournament on Monday's selection show at 11:30 a.m. UW-Stevens Point has made the NCAA Tournament the last eight seasons and 10 of the last 11. The Pointers trailed 8-6 early but scored 31 of the next 37 first-half points. UW-Stevens Point shot 55.6 percent in the opening half and held UW-Whitewater to four field goals on 17.4 percent shooting in the opening 20 minutes. UWSP forced 13 turnovers in the first half and turned them into a 15-2 advantage in points off turnovers. Trailing 8-6 after eight minutes of play, UW-Stevens Point went on a 12-0 run to take a 18-8 lead over the span of two minutes. Tillema sparked the run with a pair of layups and a dunk on the fast break. The Warhawks committed four turnovers over the two-minute stretch. A minute after the first run, the Pointers scored seven consecutive points to go up by 15, 25-10. UW-Stevens Point held UW-Whitewater scoreless for 3:42. UWSP then kept the Warhawks off the scoreboard in the final 4:35 of the first half and scored the final 12 points of the half. In the second half, the closest UW-Whitewater got was 17 in the last three minutes of the game. UW-Stevens Point led by 27 on two occasions. The Warhawks shot 43.6 percent from the field and all four of their three-pointers in the game after the break. Quardell Young scored 15 of his team-high 19 points in the second half. The Pointers cooled off slightly to 42.9 percent in the second half to finish the game at a 50.0 percent clip. Trevor Hass (New London, WI/New London/Augustana (SD)) recorded 13 of his 18 points and shot 4-for-5 from the field in the second half. Hass also finished with five rebounds, four assists and a pair of steals. Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln) was the third UW-Stevens Point player to score in double figures, narrowly missing out on a double-double with 13 points and eight rebounds. Tillema, Hass, Ritchay combined to score 54 of UWSP's 74 points in the game. After 13 first-half turnovers, UW-Whitewater committed just two in the second half. UW-Stevens Point also committed 15 turnovers in the game, leading to 11 points for the Warhawks. The Pointers shot 21-for-26 (80.8 percent) from the free-throw line in the game, including 17-for-21 in the second half. The 21 made free throws are tied for the second-most in a game for UWSP this season.
The UWSP mens hockey team was eliminated from the WIAC Tournament on Saturday as the UW-Eau Calire Blugolds won the 2nd game of the series 1-0 and then took the mini-game 2-1.
Eau Claire will face Superior in the WIAC Championship game. UWSP will await word on an NCAA Tournament berth.
The UWSP womens hockey team advanced to the WIAC Title game with a 1-0 win over Superior on Saturday. The Pointers took both games in the series to advance. Megan Menotti got the only goal.
The Pointers will travel to River Falls on Saturday for the Championship.