Winter sports recap

While most students were at home with family, working to pay for the new semester, or relaxing, the winter sports athletes were working up a sweat in the Williams Field House. Men’s and Women’s Basketball and Wrestling spent hours working towards bringing home wins during most of the break. Here’s what you missed in the world of UW-Platteville Athletics while having an awesome winter break.

Men’s basketball started winter break by flying to the lone star state. The Pioneers faced a two game series in Kerrville, Texas and brought home one win and one loss. Platteville defeated the competition, McMurry University, in the first game with a score of 69-63. The Pioneers fell to Schreiner University in the last game of the series, 83-93. Platteville led 38-36 going into half but could not maintain the lead in the last seven minutes of the game. Men’s basketball enjoyed other parts of the trips beside just the games played.

“Outside the fact that we got two games out of teams that are outside of our area, someone a bit different, it was a good cultural experience for our guys. We had an opportunity to go to the Alamo and get to see the history of our country and where some things started,” said Head Coach Jeff Gard.

The team returned to face the first conference game of the season against UW-Lacrosse. The opening game to WIAC play led to a devastating defeat, 57-88. The Pioneers had a shooting percentage of 31.8% that could not hold up to the Eagles 62.1%. Men’s basketball lost to UW-Oshkosh 86-81, falling to 6-7 on the season. The Pioneers could not fight back after losing the lead in the first half. The next opponent, UW-Stevens Point, beat the Pioneers 60-57 after a battle that lasted much of the game. The loss came from a last second three-point effort by the Pointers taking the WIAC win.

The Pioneers have most recently been able to turn the season around with two wins against UW-Stout and UW-Eau Claire. The UW-Stout Blue Devils could not compete with four key free throws in the last two minutes of the game. The prevailing Pioneers won 66-62 in overtime. The 75-84 win over UW-Eau Claire put the Pioneers back at .500.

Women’s basketball returned from a 17-day break to face Monmouth. The team took the lead early and dominated the first three quarters of the game coasting to an 84-67 victory. Even with the large win over Monmouth, they could not repeat the strategy in the game versus Concordia. The Pioneers battled for the lead throughout the game but could not gain control and lost 58-55.

The women’s team also opened WIAC play against UW-Lacrosse and clinched a win, 66-60. Kassie Buchholz played the best in her rookie season in crunch time after getting in foul trouble early. The season took a downturn the last four games putting the Pioneers at 1-3 within WIAC conference play.

Megan Wilson, Women’s Basketball Head Coach, believes that the team has made improvements from the beginning. “I think we continue to get better everyday and that’s something we talk about with our athletes on a regular basis. We are super young so we have done a nice job with being competitive”

Wrestling returned to competition on Jan. 8th and came to compete with a winning attitude. In the meet against UW-Oshkosh, the Pioneers won 32-11 with seven of ten Pioneer wrestlers winning their respective weight classes. The wrestling team moved on to compete in the Pat Flanagan Open at Loras College. Although no Pioneers finished first, they did finish towards the top of their brackets against a number of Division 1 teams throughout the Midwest. To round off the wintrim season, the wrestlers faced No. 3 ranked UW-Lacrosse. Three Pioneers were able to finish in the top of their weight classes but it was not enough to finish the meet with a win.

Ryan Renon, Assistant Wrestling Coach, is helping the team push through the rest of the season. “As the season goes on here, we are reaching the final phase so we need to keep getting better at the basics and the rest will take care of its self.”

Men’s basketball continues their season on Wednesday, Jan. 27th, at UW-Whitewater and wWomen’s basketball faces UW-Whitewater at home. Wrestling returns with a tournament on Jan. 29th and 30th at Wheaton.

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