Barber’s career-high day lifts Pointer women to 6th straight WIAC title in OT thriller
WHITEWATER, Wis. – Senior guard Sam Barber (Schofield, WI/D.C. Everest/Winona St.) tied a career high with 34 points and junior forward Myranda Tyler (Grafton, WI/Grafton) added 18 as the UW-Stevens Point women’s basketball team held on for a 76-71 overtime win over UW-Whitewater in Kachel Gym Sunday afternoon to bring home the 2013 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament trophy. With the victory, the Pointers earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament for the sixth year in a row.
The tournament championship is the sixth straight for the Pointers, who entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and needed upset victories at UW-Oshkosh and regular-season champion UW-Whitewater to earn the league’s bid.
The host Warhawks jumped out to an early 10-0 lead before a Barber 3-pointer got UWSP on the board. The Pointers battled back and, with 5:51 remaining in the opening stanza, an Autumn Hennes (Kaukauna, WI/Kaukauna) 3-pointer put the Pointers in front for the first time, 27-26.
An 11-6 run the rest of the half gave UWSP a six-point edge, 38-32, heading into the break.
In the second half, the Pointers continued their hot shooting, building a 15-point lead, 54-39, with 14:09 remaining.
Whitewater chipped away at the Pointers’ lead the remainder of the half and a Mary Merg 3-pointer with just five seconds remaining knotted the game at 67, forcing overtime.
In the extra stanza, the teams traded blows until a Barber free throw put UW-Stevens Point in front by one, 72-71. Then Liz Althoff (Darien, WI/Clinton) connected on all four of her free-throw attempts in the final two minutes to give UWSP the victory.
Barber finished the game 12-of-24 from the floor and 6-of-14 from 3-point range, adding three steals and seven rebounds. Tyler collected a team-high nine rebounds to go along with her 18 points and team-high 42 minutes.
The Pointers improved to 5-0 against UWW in WIAC Tournament play.
UW-Stevens Point (23-5) will await word of its NCAA Tournament bid. Tournament information will be announced Monday.