STEVENS POINT, Wis. – Wisconsin-Platteville defeated top-seeded Wisconsin-Stevens Point 60-56 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) championship semifinal on Thursday.
Junior duo of Chas Cross and Eric Gerber combined for 34 of the Pioneers’ 60 points. Cross went 8-for-11 from the field and 3 of 4 from beyond the arc for a game-high 21 points and had a team-best five rebounds and three blocks. Gerber scored 13 points and dished out three assists.
DeVon Jackson led the Pointers with 16 points, and the only other double-digit scorer was Trevor Hass with 12.
The Pointers took their largest lead of the game with 11:56 left in the first-half. Sophomore Jake Manning got the Pioneers back on track by making back-to-back jumpers before Cross’ pair of free throws gave the Pioneers a 17-16 advantage at the 7:17 mark. In the last seven minutes of the half, the game changed hands eight times as UW-Platteville took a 30-29 lead into halftime.
The Pioneers shot 57.1 percent (12-for-21) from the floor and 4 of 9 from 3-point land.
UW-Platteville made some great halftime adjustments and took a 38-32 lead just two minutes into the second half. The Pioneers never allowed UWSP to make a run as UW-Platteville took a 58-54 lead off a fast-break layup by Jim Stocki with 16.6 seconds left to play. Jackson put the Pointers back within two but Gerber hit a pair of clutch free throws, sealing UW-Platteville’s 60-56 victory with 8.7 seconds left.
The Pioneers travel to UW-Whitewater on Saturday for the WIAC championship game.