UWSP men clinch share of WIAC title with OT thriller over Stout
MENOMONIE, Wis. – The UW-Stevens Point men’s basketball secured at least a share of its 27th Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) title and the No. 1 seed for the upcoming conference tournament in dramatic fashion, needing overtime to defeat UW-Stout 76-74 on Wednesday evening.
“It took a courageous effort tonight to grab a share of the conference title,” said head coach Bob Semling. “We are now focusing on returning home Saturday and winning an outright title in front of the Pointer faithful.”
After a huge defensive stand by UWSP at the end of regulation to force overtime, it was back-and-forth between the squads in a closely contested extra stanza, before Hass made a free-throw line jumper with 17 seconds remaining that would prove to be the game-winning basket for the visiting Pointers.
In the game’s final possession, UW-Stout went for the win on a 3-point attempt with seconds remaining, and after snaring the offensive rebound launched another unsuccessful triple try just as time expired.
Four Pointers scored in double figures, led by Ritchay with 23 points. Hass added 18 points while Clayton Heuer (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln/UW-Green Bay) and Richard scored 14 and 10, respectively. Chris Hortman led the Blue Devils (18-6, 10-5 WIAC) with 29 points.
The win guarantees UWSP a bye into the conference tournament semi-finals, with the Pointers hosting a 7 p.m. game on Thursday, February 21 against an opponent to be determined.
The team next hosts UW-Eau Claire Saturday, Feb. 16 for Senior Day. The regular season finale is set to tipoff at 3 p.m.