Warhawk men lose in title game
Fourteen points in the first half is acceptable in a college football game.
Fourteen points in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament championship game puts a team in a deep hole.
That is what UW-Whitewater produced Sunday against UW-Stevens Point, and the end result was a 74-57 defeat.
The Warhawks shot 17 percent from the field in the first half while falling behind 37-14 at Quandt Gymnasium.
“They definitely came out with a lot of intensity,” UW-Whitewater coach Pat Miller said of the Pointers. “Especially defensively.”
The Pointers had a reason to be motivated. Besides the tournament title being on the line, the Warhawks had handed the Pointers their only loss of the season 81-76 in overtime in a WIAC game at Kachel Gym on Feb. 5.
The Warhawks didn't come close to duplicating that result Sunday.
“We were impatient,” Miller said. “We settled for quick shots, which is uncharacteristic of us. We didn't take proper care of the basketball.
“It was one of the poorest halves of basketball I've ever seen our teams play.”
Stevens Point, 26-1 and ranked first in the D3hoops.com poll, earned the league's automatic berth in the NCAA III championship tournament.
Whitewater, which is ranked second in the D3hoops.com poll, will receive an at-large berth into the national tournament with a 23-4 record.
The complete field, including host sites and pairings, will be announced today.
“We're still the No. 2 rated team in the West Region,” Miller said. “St. Thomas also lost and they were No. 3.”
Quardell Young was the most productive Warhawk with 19 points Sunday, making 7 of 12 field-goal attempts, including three of four 3-pointers.
The rest of the team was just 2 of 19 from beyond the arc.
Warhawk senior guard Eric Bryson, an Elkhorn High graduate, had 10 points and seven rebounds.
KJ Evans scored eight points and grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Stevens Point's Tyler Tillema scored 23 points and grabbed 12 rebounds.
Miller said the game should help the Warhawks in the Division III tournament.
“It was a good wakeup call for our guys,” Miller said. “It was a great crowd. It was loud, and we didn't deal with that very well. We lost our composure at times.
“It was a good learning experience,” Miller said. “I think we'll be a better basketball team after this.”
STEVENS POINT 74, WHITEWATER 57
Whitewater (57)—Merg, 1-6-9; Young, 7-2-19; Evans, 4-0-8; Hearn, 2-0-4; Bryson, 5-0-10; Odegaard, 1-2-5; Egan, 1-0-2. Totals: 21-10-57.
Stevens Point (74)—Ryf, 2-2-6; Tillema, 8-5-23; Hass, 5-6-18; Ritchay, 4-4-13; Heuer, 2-0-4; McCann, 0-1-1; Lutz, 0-2-2; Pelkofer, 2-0-4; Ricahrd, 1-1-3. Totals: 24-21-74.
Whitewater 14 43—57
Stevens Point 37 37—74
Three-point goals—Whitewater 5 (Merg, Young 3, Odegaard), Stevens Point 5 (Tillema, Hass, Ritchay). Rebounds—Whitewater 36 (Evans 10), Stevens Point 36 (Tillema 12). Assists—Whitewater 8 (Merg and Evans, 2 each), Stevens Point 14 (Haas 4). Total fouls—Whitewater 16, Stevens Point 17.