Titans upend Pointers in WIAC semifinals

More news about: UW-Stevens Point
UW-Oshkosh celebrates as the final buzzer sounds.
Photo by Steve Frommell, d3photography.com 

Alex Olson hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:13 to go as UW-Oshkosh upended the fourth-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team 50-47 in the semifinals of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday night at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse.

After a three by Austin Ryf gave UW-Stevens Point (21-5) a two-point advantage with 2:36 to go, Olson buried a three to give UW-Oshkosh (16-11) the lead again. The Titans then got a stop and two free throws by Charlie Noone to lead by three with three seconds to go, before Stephen Pelkofer's off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.

The win sends the fifth-seeded Titans to the WIAC Tournament championship game at top-seeded UW-Whitewater on Saturday. The Pointers had won the previous 15 meetings between the two teams since Jan. 26, 2008. UWSP had won nine of its 12 WIAC Tournament semifinal games at home.

UW-Stevens Point led 39-29 with 13:47 remaining in the second half after a 15-2 run. All five UWSP starters scored and the Pointers made six of eight shots from the field in the spurt.

UW-Oshkosh then held UW-Stevens Point to three points in the next 7:25 and went on a 12-3 run to get within one, 42-41, with 6:22 to go. Later, the Titans took their first lead in nearly 15 minutes of game time on a layup by Max Schebel with 4:07 left, prior to Ryf's three.

UW-Oshkosh shot 9-for-20 (45.0 percent) from behind the arc in the game and five players made at least one 3-pointer for the visitors. Charlie Noone led the Titans with a game-high 15 points off the bench, while Kyle Bolger added 14 on 6-for-8 shooting.

Ryf and Jordan Lutz (Amherst, WI/Amherst) each scored 14 for UW-Stevens Point, which shot just 37.0 percent (17-for-46) from the field in the game. Ryf and Lutz combined to shoot 11-for-19 from the field, while the rest of the team shot 6-for-27.

Alex Richard (Spring Green, WI/River Valley) also scored in double figures, finishing with 10 points and six rebounds.

The Pointers held a 20-10 advantage in points in the paint but the Titans' bench outscored UWSP's 20-3, thanks to Noone's 15 points.

The teams went to the locker room tied at 24-24 at halftime after a half in which UW-Oshkosh led for 12:01. The largest lead for either team in the opening 20 minutes was a four-point Titans' lead with 13:34 until the break.

UW-Stevens Point will await word on an at-large NCAA Tournament berth, as the selection show takes place at 11:30 a.m. on Monday morning.