WHITEWATER (WKOW) -- UW-Stevens Point, ranked sixteenth in the D3hoops.com poll, pulled away in the second half to defeat second ranked UW-Whitewater 71-60 at Kachel Gym in Williams Center in Whitewater, Wisconsin Wednesday night. The loss ended Whitewater's nine game win streak. UW-W is 17-2 overall, 8-2 in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. UW-SP is 15-4 overall and also 8-2 in league play. Whitewater, Point and UW-River falls share the WIAC lead with 8-2 marks.
Whitewater's last lead in a seesaw first half came at 10:03 on a Chris Davis layup. Jordan Brezinski's layup at 8:05 knotted the game at 19-19, the fourth, and final, tie of the half. With the Pointers in front 26-23, UW-SP closed out the first half with a 9-3 surge to take a 35-26 lead into halftime.
UW-SP shot 54% from the floor in the first half against Whitewater, which came into the game leading the WIAC in field goal defense at .398. On the other end of the floor UW-W, the top field goal shooting in the WIAC at .519, was held to 38% in the first half. Junior guard Tyler Tillema led the Pointers with nine points in the first half, also sharing rebounding honors with five. Senior forward Alex Edmunds topped Whitewater with nine points.
Point's lead was 10, 39-29 at the 18:15 mark in the second half. Whitewater used an 11-1 burst to lead the game 41-40 on Luke Knoble's second free throw with 13:24 remaining. Sophomore guard Alex Merg made four free throws in less than a minute to give Whitewater its largest lead of the half, 45-40. Point regained the lead at 46-45 with 9:28, and the UW-SP lead grew to 11 points three times, including the final score.
The shooting percentages didn't change in the second half, with Whitewater ending up at 38% and Point hitting 50%.
Whitewater was led by Merg's 12 points, with 11 from Edmunds, and 10 each from junior forward Luke Knoble and senior center Chris Davis. Davis also led UW-W with eight rebounds, and Merg passed for three assists. UW-SP's Tyler Tillema had game highs with 16 points and five assists. Brezinski, a senior center, notched a double-double with 13 points and 11 boards. Sophomore forward Trevor Haas scored 12 and senior forward Dan Tillema scored 11.
UW-Whitewater will host UW-Eau Claire Saturday at 5:00 in Kachel Gym of Williams Center, the second half of a 3:00/5:00 doubleheader.