STEVENS POINT, Wis. - Senior MJ Delmore (Wisconsin Dells, Wis./Wisconsin Dells) and junior Drew Fredrickson (Mount Horeb, Wis./Mount Horeb) combined to go 7-for-9 from three-point range in the second half as the UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team (19-8) won the WIAC Championship (presented by Culver's) with a 59-44 victory over UW-River Falls (18-9) on Sunday afternoon. It is the ninth tournament title for the Pointers, who improve to 9-1 all-time in the championship game, and UWSP secured the WIAC's automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament.
The Pointers trailed by two at the half, 23-12, and posted 38 second-half points for the win. Delmore led all players with 22 points. He was 5-for-9 in the game from behind the arc, a career-best from long range. He also blocked three shots, another career-high, and grabbed four rebounds.
Fredrickson totaled 17 points in the win on 4-of-7 shooting from deep. He also had a block, two steals, three assists and a rebound.
Canon O'Heron (Bangor, Wis./Bangor) posted 11 points with four rebounds. Nate Dodge (East Troy, Wis./East Troy) had nine points and tied for the team-lead with Brett Tauber (Madison, Wis./Memorial), both with five boards.
The Pointers jumped ahead early with Delmore, Fredrickson and O'Heron combining to put UWSP ahead 7-0. The Falcons fought back and outscored the Pointers, 11-0, over the next 11 minutes. Dodge ended to long drought with a three and UWSP trailed by just one.
Delmore and Fredrickson both successfully complete and-1s to pull UWSP to a 16-16 tie with four minutes left in the half. UWRF put up a 7-0 run and Delmore answered with a personal 5-0 run, including a three-pointers at the buzzer as UWSP trailed just 23-21 at the half.
O'Heron scored in the opening seconds of the second half and Delmore drained his first three of the period to give the Pointers the lead. Back-to-back threes by Fredrickson and Delmore started a 7-0 spurt capped by a tough bucket by O'Heron to put UWSP ahead 39-33, but UWRF wouldn't go away.
With just a two-point advantage with less than nine minutes to go, Fredrickson nailed another three to start a 10-2 run to put the lead in double figures. He buried another three with 1:17 to go as the Pointers ended the game on a 9-0 run over the final 3:20 of the game.
The Pointers will await tomorrow's selections show to find out their opponent and the location of the first round game. Fans can tune in to the selection show at ncaa.com. The first round of games will be Friday (March 2).