***PRESS RELEASE FROM UW-STEVENS POINT***
STEVENS POINT, Wis. - For the second year in a row, the top-ranked UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team finished a perfect 8-0 in conference home games, as the Pointers wrapped up the regular season with a 72-49 win over UW-Stout on Senior Night on Saturday night at Bennett Court at Quandt Fieldhouse.
Tyler Tillema (Randolph, WI/Randolph) led all scorers with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting for UW-Stevens Point (24-1, 15-1 WIAC). UW-Stout (12-13, 7-9 WIAC) led for the first 5:38 of the game before the Pointers went ahead and led the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils led 7-2 early but a 10-0 UWSP run gave the Pointers a 16-9 advantage. Five different players scored during the run and UW-Stout missed five shots in a row as UW-Stevens Point took the lead for good.
UW-Stevens Point took a double-digit lead at the 6:57 mark of the first half and led by double figures for the final 26:57 of the game. The Pointers shot 52.2 percent from the field, compared to 33.3 percent for the Blue Devils, in the opening half and used a 9-0 advantage in points off turnovers to take a 15-point halftime lead.
Tillema scored 14 of his 21 points before the break, while Alex Richard (Spring Green, WI/River Valley) came off the bench to add eight. Richard knocked down all six of his free-throw attempts in the first half and finished with 12 points.
UW-Stevens Point scored the first seven points of the second half to take a 22-point lead. Trevor Hass (New London, WI/New London/Augustana (SD)) scored five of his 12 points in the run on a three-pointer to start the half and a layup.
Hass was the third UW-Stevens Point player in double figures with 12 points and a game-high four assists. Joe Ritchay (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln)and Clayton Heuer (Wisconsin Rapids, WI/Lincoln/UW-Green Bay) scored 14 of their combined 18 points in the second half and each finished with nine points and six rebounds.
The closest UW-Stout got in the second half was 15 points with 15:06 remaining after three consecutive made three-pointers by Phil Freeman, Alex Oman and Adam Wadzinski. UW-Stevens Point led by at least 16 for the final 12:46 of the game and by as many as 28 in the closing minutes.
The Pointers shot over 50 percent in both halves and 54.3 percent for the game. UWSP shot just 4-for-18 from behind the arc but capitalized on its trips to the free-throw line, shooting 18-for-22 (81.8 percent) from the charity stripe.
UW-Stout shot 37.5 percent in the game but made just 8-of-19 free throws (42.1 percent). Jimmy Whitehead led the Blue Devils with 11 points, while Aaron Jenny and Oman each chipped in with nine.
As the top seed in the upcoming WIAC playoffs, UW-Stevens Point has a bye in the first round and will host the lowest seed remaining after the first round on Friday night at 7 p.m. Fifth-seeded UW-Stout travels to fourth-seeded UW-Platteville on Wednesday night, while sixth-seeded UW-Oshkosh will visit third-seeded UW-La Crosse.