UW-Platteville offense stifled, defense falters in 77-58 home loss to No. 4 UW-WhitewaterBy Colten Bartholomew • February 16, 2012 • Category: Sports
The Pioneer men’s basketball team fell to University of Wisconsin-Whitewater 77-58 Feb. 8 at Bo Ryan Court in a game that was neck-and-neck until late in the second half. The Warhawks are ranked number four in the nation.
The game was close for the entirety of the first half, with the Pioneers taking a three-point lead with 5:08 to play before halftime. Both teams traded buckets until a Warhawk free throw knotted it up at 25.
“We really executed on both ends of the floor,” head coach Jeff Gard said. “But they just seemed to be the ones coming up with all the hustle plays.”
In one of those hustle plays, a scramble for a loose ball in the waning seconds of the first half, Warhawk forward Chris Davis launched a last-second 3-pointer that gave UW-Whitewater a six-point advantage heading into halftime.
The game remained close for the first minutes of the second half, and the Pioneers cut the Warhawks lead to three with 17 minutes remaining.
UW-Whitewater immediately answered with a 6-0 run, and the momentum shifted fully toward the away team at the 10-minute mark when Warhawk guard Quardell Young drove through the lane, absorbed a foul and made a layup.
After Young completed the three-point play, UW-Whitewater led by 11, and while the Pioneers kept the game in reach, late-game free throws ballooned the Warhawk lead to 19.
Warhawks seemed able to drive past their Pioneer defenders often, something Gard attributed to the other players being too focused on their matchups and not playing help defense well enough.
The Pioneers struggled all night from deep, hitting only one of nine 3-point shots.
“That was their defense,” Gard said. “We didn’t do a great job getting into the paint, and we didn’t open for outside shots. They were able to contest them all.”
Leading the way for the Pioneers was sophomore forward Chas Cross, who poured in 16 points on 6-8 shooting, five rebounds and three steals. Senior B.J. Litz added 11, while senior Brett Stangel and freshman Jake Manning added 10 points each.
Stangel had a rough night compared to his usual output, making only three of his nine attempts.
“They really made him work for his looks,” Gard said. “But I’m glad he didn’t press and try to do too much like some guys might have.”
The Warhawks were led by Eric Bryson and Davis, who both chalked up 21 points. Young added 10 points. UW-Whitewater shot 59 percent from the field and made 17 of 23 free throws in the second half.