STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team (17-8) opened the second half on a 30-13 run to pull away from UW-Eau Claire (14-12) in the WIAC Championship (presented by Culver's) first round, 89-61. The victory was head coach Bob Semling's 300th career win.
Ethan Bublitz (Jackson, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) led four Pointers in double digits with 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field. He also topped the team with five rebounds.
Junior Blake Ehrke (Deerfield, Wis./Deerfield) racked up career-highs with 13 points and 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. He went 9-for-9 from the free throw line on the night.
Seniors Nate Dodge (East Troy, Wis./East Troy) and Canon O'Heron (Bangor, Wis./Bangor) also scored in double figures with 14 and 12 points, respectively. Dodge dished out a career-best four assists.
Four of the five starters scored in the first three-plus minutes as the Pointers jumped ahead 9-0. The Blugolds took a timeout and responded with a 20-7 run to take a four-point lead.
The Pointers followed with another run, 11-0, with a Dodge three and four throws by Ehrke to forge ahead, 27-20. Bublitz scored the final seven points of the half for UWSP, including his second three-pointer, as the lead stood at 37-29 at the half.
The Blugolds scored the first bucket of the second half, but the Pointers scored the next nine for a 46-31 lead. Dodge hit another from behind the arc with 15:03 to go to grow the lead to 15. Dodge drilled two more from behind the arc as part of a 15-0 run by the Pointers for a 67-42 lead with 9:10 remaining.
Brandon Spray (Prairie Du Sac, Wis./Sauk Prairie) scored four-straight for UWSP as the rout was on. Bublitz and Drew Fredrickson (Mount Horeb, Wis./Mount Horeb) hit consecutive threes late as the lead ballooned to 28.
The Pointers move on to the WIAC Championship semifinals on Thursday at UW-Oshkosh. Tip-off at Kolf Sports Center is slated for 7:00 p.m.