Whitworth Men Fall To No. 1 UWSP In Vegas - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Whitworth Men Fall To No. 1 UWSP In Vegas

by Whitworth University Sports Information

LAS VEGAS – Top-ranked Wisconsin-Stevens Point trailed at halftime for the first time all season, but the Pointers pulled away in the second half for a 93-75 win over Whitworth at the D3hoops.com Classic in the South Point Arena.

Tyler Tillema scored 33 points and grabbed eight boards to lead UWSP (9-0). Colton McCargar scored 19 for the Pirates (5-3).

Whitworth worked for open shots in the first half and took advantage of the trips to the free throw line. The Bucs were 5-10 from beyond the arc and 12-14 at the charity stripe in the opening half and led by as many as eight points (31-23) when Robby Douglas converted a three-point play with eight minutes to go. The Pointers rallied to take a 43-42 lead on a bucket by Tillema with ten seconds left, but Christian Jurlina hit a three-pointer from the corner as time expired to give Whitworth a halftime lead.

UWSP, which came into the game outscoring opponents by an average of 21 points per contest, trailed at the half for the first time all season.

"We really executed our game plan well in the first half, defending how we wanted and attacking efficiently on offense," said head coach Matt Logie.

But Pirate fortunes turned in the second half. Whitworth went 1-11 from three-point range, missing their first eight attempts from beyond the arc. The Bucs also had a chance to stay in the game by making free throws, but were only 15-26 from the line in the second half.

Tillema's free throw gave UWSP its first double digit lead (80-69) with under five minutes to play.

The Pointers made 52% of their shots in the game, 58% (15-26) in the second half. Tillema hit 10-17 from the field, including 4-6 from three-point range. He was 9-13 from the free throw line. Trevor Hass added 21 points and Jared Gjertson finished with a dozen for UWSP.

After making 47% from the field in the opening half, Whitworth was 7-21 from the floor after halftime. McCargar made 5-9 from the field (2-5 from three) and 7-8 at the line for his 19 points. He also led the Bucs with eight rebounds. Dustin McConnell added 10 points and four assists.

"We had our chances in the second half, but we just couldn't finish them with baskets or at the free throw line," Logie said.

Whitworth will play its second game of the D3hoops.com Classic on Sunday night at 8:00 pm against Wisconsin-Platteville.