MENOMONIE (February 13, 2013) - UW-Stout shot over 50 percent for the game, but missed the shots when it mattered most, falling to UW-Stevens Point, 76-74, in an overtime thriller, Wednesday night at Johnson Fieldhouse.
Chris Hortman (Sr, Milwaukee) scored 19 points, his most as a Blue Devil, but Stout came up empty at the buzzer in both regulation and overtime, relinquishing a chance to knock off the 15th-ranked Pointers.
Stout (18-6, 10-5 WIAC) came out of the gates hot, and an 11-2 run to start the game got Johnson Fieldhouse's largest crowd this season on their feet. Josh Kosloske (Jr, Oakfield) scored the first four points of the game before Jarvis Ragland (Jr, Milwaukee) scored the next five, including an emphatic alley-oop from Alex Oman (Jr, Lake Elmo, Minn.).
Stevens Point (20-4, 13-2 WIAC) battled back with a 12-0 run of their own, however, to grab a three-point lead with 8:17 left in the half. Point held a lead for much of the rest of the half, but could never extend it to more than six. They took a 32-28 lead into halftime after Erik Olson (Sr, Buffalo, Minn.) scored a bucket just before the buzzer.
The second half began as a back-and-forth shootout. Neither team scored more than three points in a row over the first seven minutes, but scored a combined 32 points during that stretch. The Pointers were able to go on a 5-0 run at the 12:40 mark, but it lasted only minutes before buckets by Ragland and Hortman on back-to-back possessions brought the Blue Devils within two points with less than 10 minutes to play.
After Clayton Heuer put the Pointers up by five, Oman hit a pair of free throws and Aaron Jenny (Jr, Spicer, Minn.) scored a bucket to cut the lead to one point, their smallest deficit since 2:30 remained in the first half.
Hortman then played hero a few times in the waning minutes of regulation. After Alex Richard had just put Stevens Point up by three, Hortman collected an offensive rebound on Stout's ensuing possession, and promptly buried a three to tie the game with 2:18 on the clock. About a minute later, trailing by two, Hortman was sent to the line, where he hit two free throws to again tie the game. With the shot clock turned off, Stout had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but a missed attempt sent the game to an extra five minutes.
In overtime, Stevens Point jumped out to the first lead, a 72-69 margin, a minute and a half in. But Stout battled back, and back-to-back jumpers by Olson and Hortman gave Stout their first and only lead of the bonus period. Point grabbed the lead back, but Oman hit a free throw with 53 seconds remaining to tie the game at 74-all.
Trevor Hass delivered the game-winner on Stevens Point's ensuing possession. As the shot clock expired, Hass put up a high-arcing fadeaway that found nothing but net. Stout got two shot attempts before the buzzer, but came up empty on both.
Both teams shot over 50 percent for the game, but Stevens Point held a distinct advantage from beyond the arc. The Pointers shot 9-of-20 from three while Stout managed to go just 3-of-18.
Hortman led all players with 29 points on 11-of-20 shooting, 5-of-6 from the line. Jenny led all players with seven boards and shot 3-of-3 for eight points. Joe Ritchay led the Pointers with 23 points and was automatic in the second half, in which he shot 5-of-5, including 3-of-3 from downtown.
With the win, the Pointers clinched at least a share of the WIAC title, with only UW-Whitewater within striking distance. Point also clinched the #1 seed for the WIAC Tournament, as they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Warhawks.
Stout will close out their regular season, Saturday, Feb. 16 with a 4 p.m. home game against UW-Oshkosh. The Blue Devils have clinched a playoff spot and will play on Tuesday, Feb. 19, but their location, opponent, and time are yet to be determined.