Men's basketball: UWSP clinches share of 27th WIAC title

Hass hits game-winner with 18 seconds left in OT

12:53 AM, Feb. 14, 2013  |  Comments
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It's official, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men's basketball team can call itself a champion.

UWSP earned the right to hang Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship banner No. 27, but there was nothing easy about culminating the quest.

Trevor Hass hit a jumper with 18 seconds left in overtime and UW-Stout missed a pair of shots in the closing seconds to give the No. 15-ranked Pointers a heart-stopping 76-74 win over the Blue Devils at the Johnson Fieldhouse on Wednesday night.

The victory clinches at least a share of the WIAC title - UWSP will own the top seed for the conference tournament due to having the head-to-head tiebreaker against Whitewater - and it can claim the outright championship with a win against Eau Claire at home Saturday.

"It feels good. It took a courageous effort on the road against a very good basketball team to get a piece of the title," Pointers coach Bob Semling said, "but it would mean a great deal to all of us to clinch it outright at home in front of our fans."

Alex Richard, who finished with 10 points hit a pair of free throws with 1 minute, 54 seconds left in regulation to put UWSP up 69-67.

The Blue Devils' Chris Hortman, who led all scorers with 29 points, had the answer by knocking down two free throws with 1:13 remaining.

Stout had a chance to win the game, but Hortman missed a jumper with 31 seconds left, and after grabbing the offensive rebound, Erik Olson's shot at the buzzer was off target.

That sent the game into overtime , setting the stage for Hass, who finished with 18 points, to deliver in the clutch.

"It was a classic WIAC game that our guys will remember for a long time, especially with what was at stake," Semling said. "There were two teams playing really hard, with players from both sides making big shots.

"Our guys wanted to make a statement," Semling added. "People thought we were too banged up and too hurt (to win a conference championship), but our guys were out to prove some people wrong."

Joe Ritchay scored a game-high 23 points for the Pointers, while Clayton Heuer added 14.

UWSP shot 45 percent (9 of 20) from behind the 3-point arc, while the Blue Devils went just 3 for 18 from long distance.

UW-STEVENS POINT (76): Jordan Giordana 1-4 0-0 3, Trevor Hass 6-12 2-2 18, Joe Ritchay 7-9 6-8 23, Alex Richard 3-5 4-5 10, Clayton Heuer 6-7 1-2 14, Sean McGann 2-3 1-2 5, DeVon Jackson 0-5 3-4 3. Totals 24-45 17-23 76.

UW-STOUT (74): Erik Olson 3-9 1-1 7, Aaron Jenny 3-3 2-3 8, Jarvis Ragland 4-7 1-1 10, Alex Oman 2-11 4-5 8, Josh Kosloske 4-5 0-0 8, Chris Hortman 11-20 5-6 29, Jay Higgins 2-2 0-3 4. Totals 29-57 13-19 74.

UWSP 32 37 7 - 76
Stout 28 41 5 - 74

3-pointers: Stout 3-18 (Olson 0-1, Ragland 1-3, Oman 0-6, Hortman 2-8), Stevens Point 9-20 (Giordana 1-4, Hass 4-8, Ritchay 3-4, Heuer 1-2, Jackson 0-2). Total fouls: Stout 20, Stevens Point 17. Fouled out: Jenny. Rebounds: Stout 29 (Jenny 7), Stevens Point 24 (Richard 6). Att. - 1,326.

Records: UW-Stevens Point 20-4, 13-2 WIAC; UW-Stout 18-6, 10-5 WIAC.

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