Men’s Basketball: Platteville vs. Eau Claire

Another close victory for the Pioneers brings them to the top!


Emilee Davis graphic

The eighth-ranked Pioneers men’s basketball team earned an overtime victory over UW-Eau Claire thanks to a very strong defensive effort on Senior Night. UW-Platteville’s 60-56 win was always within five or fewer points. The contest featured eleven ties, eight lead changes and was a game to remember.

The Pioneers and Blugolds struggled offensively throughout the first half with neither team shooting above 35% from the floor. Both teams shot below 25% from beyond the arc in the first half. The Pioneers, however, were able to earn a 27-24 halftime lead, due to a collaborative, well executed defense. There were very few comfortable possessions for either team.

The second half took a similar tone, but Kyle Tuma kept the Pioneers in the game by shooting 6-15 from the floor, contributing 15 points and 8 rebounds.

The Pioneers’ defense clamped down on the Blugolds even more in the second half, allowing UWEC to shoot just 14% from three-point territory and forcing 15 turnovers throughout the game.

With only 12 seconds remaining in regulation and UW-Platteville trailing 52-49, Justin Stovall secured a defensive rebound from a missed free-throw and fired a quick pass down the court to Tuma, who sank a game-tying three-pointer with just over three seconds to go. The Pioneers would stop UWEC to force overtime.

Tied early in the overtime at 54, Quentin Shields added a layup to give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish, winning 60-56. Shields scored 13 points, putting him 3rd on the Pioneers’ all-time scoring list with 1614 points. Stovall reached 100-career blocked shots in the victory.

The Pioneers finished the regular season 20-4 overall and 9-4 WIAC.

UW-Platteville’s next game is Thursday, February 24, as they host the highest remaining seed in the WIAC Tournament.