WHITEWATER As much as he tried, UW-Whitewater senior guard Tyson Kingsby couldn’t get his head coach Pat Miller out of his head.
Miller, a sharpshooter in his playing days with Whitewater, has continually scolded Kingsby for shooting a flat jump shot.
Kingsby and his flat three-pointer, however, got the last laugh.
With UW-Stevens Point clinging to a one-point lead with 3 seconds to play in overtime, Kingsby picked up a loose ball at the top of the key and drilled the game-winning three-pointer to lead Whitewater to an 80-78 victory here Saturday afternoon.
Myles McKay led the way with a career-high 35 points, while Kingsby and Kori Vernon each had 10 to propel Whitewater (20-3, 12-2) to within a game of Stevens Point (20-3, 13-1) in the WIAC race with two games to play.
Whitewater remains tied with Platteville for second place in the conference after the Pioneers thumped Superior, 69-53.
Conference standings aside, Kingsby could help but enjoy his moment.
“I was thinking about putting a little more arc on my shot,” said Kingsby on his game-winning shot. “But I couldn’t, and I knew coach was going to be mad at me that it was kind of flat, but God answered my prayers when it went in.”
Miller agreed with Kingsby’s final-shot critique.
“That was probably the longest however seconds it was in my life,” Miller said. “I knew the shot was on line, but it was a little flat and I didn’t know if it had enough to go over the front of the rim, so it was agonizing.”
Adding to Miller’s agony was Stevens Point’s torrid shooting.
Stevens Point shot 61 percent in the second half and then 57 percent in overtime to erase Whitewater’s 43-22 rebounding advantage.
“That’s their strength (Whitewater rebounding), but we also have strengths that we played to,” Stevens Point head coach Bob Semling said. “With all that being said we had a lead and some stops with a chance to win it in regulation and didn’t get it done.”
Point almost got it done in overtime.
Khalifa El-Amin scooped up a rebound and took it coast-to-coast for a layup to put the Pointers up, 78-77.
McKay then worked the clock down on the ensuing possession to :10 and then sliced through the lane and missed a layup.
Whitewater got a little luck after that.
After Mitchell missed a tip on McKay’s shot, the Pointers’ Bryan Beamish inadvertently tipped the ball out to a wide-open Kingsby at the top of the key who nailed the shot with 1.1 to play.
“I was going up to rebound,” Point guard Pete Rortvedt said. “And we really needed that rebound, and I just turned around and it was just one of those things that happened.”
Beamish got a chance at redemption on the final Point possession, but his turnaround jumper from the top of the key missed the mark at the buzzer.
WHITEWATER 80, STEVENS POINT 78 (OT)
Stevens Point (78)—El-Amin, 6-10 0-0 15; Moses, 6-11 0-2 14; Beamish, 5-10 3-4 14; Hurd, 4-4 2-3 10; Rortvedt, 5-13 0-0 15; Sweeney, 1-2 0-0 3; Jenkins, 0-1 0-0 0; Krull, 2-3 1-3 5; Wotachek, 1-1 0-1 2. Totals: 30-55 6-13 78.
UW-Whitewater (80)—Goodwin, 3-9 2-2 8; Kingsby, 4-7 1-3 10; McKay, 11-22 10-12 35; Vernon, 3-8 4-4 10; Kolinske, 1-2 4-5 6; Negri, 0-2 0-0 0; Mitchell, 1-5 2-2 4; Vines, 3-4 1-1 7. Totals: 26-59 23-26 80.
UW-Stevens Point 26 43 9—78
UW-Whitewater 31 38 11—80
Three-point goals—Stevens Point 12-21 (El-Amion 3-5, Moses 2-2, Beamish 1-3, Rortvedt 5-10, Sweeney 1-1), Whitewater 5-15 (Goodwin 0-3, Kingsby 2-3, McKay 3-8, Kolinske 4-5). Rebounds—Stevens Point 22 (Rortvedt 7), Whitewater 43 (Vernon 7). Assists—Stevens Point 21 (Beamish 8), Whitewater 16 (Kingsby 4). Total fouls—Stevens Point 19, Whitewater 17.