STEVENS POINT, Wis. -- The No. 9 UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team (11-4, 3-2) saw its early eight-point lead evaporate and were unable to catch visiting UW-La Crosse (12-4, 5-0) in a 61-57 loss to the Eagles.
Nate Dodge (East Troy, Wis./East Troy) led the Pointers' scoring attack with 18 points with four-made three-pointers. Brett Tauber (Madison, Wis./Memorial) led UWSP with six rebounds and he added 11 points. Ethan Bublitz (Jackson, Wis./Kettle Moraine Lutheran) and Canon O'Heron (Bangor, Wis./Bangor) contributed 10 points each.
Tauber gave the Pointers a 2-0 lead and Drew Fredrickson (Mount Horeb, Wis./Mount Horeb) nailed a three as the Pointers opened with an 8-0 lead. UWL scored 14 of the next 18 points to take a 14-12 edge midway through the half.
The Eagles kept the run going, taking a 28-16 lead as UWSP went without a field goal for nearly 12 minutes. Tauber ended the drought from the field with 3:36 to go before halftime. Dodge hit two late triples as UWSP got to within 34-26 at the break.
UWSP came out fast to begin the second half with a Tuber make followed by another Dodge three as a 7-0 run made it a 34-33 game. The game remained tight as a Fredrickson made from behind the arc tied the game at 40-40 with 13:48 left. The Pointers regained the lead at 44-42 after consecutive makes by Tauber and O'Heron.
The Eagles answered with a seven-point spurt to pull ahead for good. Five-straight point from Dodge got the Pointers within two at 51-49. The team traded points until a UWL three-pointer with just over a minute left gave the Eagles a 58-53 lead, but the Pointers weren't done. Consecutive makes by Bublitz and Dodge made it a one-point game, but a turnover in the final seconds sealed UWSP's fate.
The Pointers remain at home on Saturday (Jan. 19) to face UW-Platteville at 7:00 p.m. Skyward rally towels and the third set of trading cards will be given away at the door.