The UW-La Crosse men’s basketball team has been a difficult team to figure out at times this season, having beaten No. 13 River Falls, then taking No. 2 Whitewater down to the wire before falling by three.
Saturday, UW-Stevens Point wasn’t about to take any chances with the sometimes dangerous Eagles, as the Pointers used a 12-2 run midway through the second half to pull away en route to a 76-62 WIAC win before 600 fans in Mitchell Hall. Former Bangor High School standout Canon O’Heron, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound junior forward, had a big game for the first-place Pointers (13-6, 7-1), scoring a game-high 26 points.
O’Heron, the Tribune’s prep player of the year in 2015, hit 11 of 14 field goals, including his lone 3-point attempt, and drilled all three of his free-throw attempts.
Kent Dernbach, UW-L’s interim coach who was an assistant coach for the Pointers last season, had the Eagles (11-8, 3-5) poised for a comeback. UW-L, which trailed 42-35 at the half, clawed to within 55-53 before the Pointers went on the game-deciding run.
Brendon Manning led UW-L with a 17-point, eight-rebound performance, while Ben Meinholz added 16 points and four assists. UW-L was solid from the floor, hitting 23 of 53 attempts (40 percent), but was only 4-for-15 from beyond the arc.
Western 76, Ridgewater 67
WILLMAR, Minn. — Kadar Farah, a 6-foot-4 freshman forward from Rochester Mayo, recorded a double-double to power the Cavaliers (6-13, 3-3 MCAC), who built a 10-point lead by halftime. Farah finished with 22 points and a career-high 17 rebounds for Western, which shot 41 percent (29 of 71) from the field.
Henry Berry added 20 points for Western, while Josh Brownlee finished with 12. Western was 14 of 19 from the free-throw line, but just 4 of 23 from beyond the arc.
Daviante Ostrander led Ridgewater (2-15, 0-6) with 15 points.
UW-Stevens Point 73, UW-L 54
STEVENS POINT, Wis. — UW-Stevens Point built a 10-point lead at the end of the first quarter, then pushed it to 38-20 at the half in a WIAC contest played before 525 fans in Berg Gymnasium. The Pointers (9-10, 3-5) were busy from the free-throw line, draining 28 of 34 attempts compared to just 11 of 15 for UW-L.
Delany Schoenberg led the Eagles (12-7, 5-3) with 13 points, while teammates Ava Kramer (13) and Elise DeNoyer (11) also hit double digits. UW-L, which had won two straight and five of its last six entering the game, shot 34 percent (19 of 56) from the field.
Taylor Barrett led Stevens Point with 16 points.
Ridgewater 84, Western 73
WILLMAR, Minn. — Despite a 14-point effort from Emily Schaldach, Western fell to Ridgewater in a MCAC contest. Kerrigan Lyga followed with 11 points and Lexy Schrader with 10.
Ridgewater was busy at the free-throw line, making 33 of 45 attempts, while Western (3-14, 2-4) made six of its 13 attempts.
UW-L 188.400, Oshkosh 183.900
OSHKOSH, Wis. — UW-L won all four events, including a top-three sweep of the vault and floor exercise, to power its way past UW-Oshkosh in a dual meet with the Titans.
UW-L’s Samantha Wiekamp (9.525), Sam Weyker (9.500) and Dani Barmore (9.500) earned the top three scores in the vault, while Amy Enright (9.625), Ellie Beckman (9.625) tied for first place on the floor exercise. The Eagles’ Weyker finished third with a 9.600 mark, making it another sweep for UW-L.
Enright, a senior from Lake Elmo, Minn., also won the uneven parallel bars for UW-L with a 9.600 score, while teammate Leah Spankowski took first on the balance beam (9.525).