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Men's Basketball season ends in NCAA Tournament

Photo by Lane Schwartz
Photo by Lane Schwartz
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. – No. 8 UW-Stevens Point shot 71.7 percent from the field en route to eliminating Concordia University Wisconsin in the opening round of NCAA Division III Tournament on Friday night at Bennett Court at the Quandt Fieldhouse.

The host Pointers shot 79.7 percent (19-for-24) in the opening half, sprinting out to a 48-25 advantage after 20 minutes of play. The Falcons couldn't get much closer in the second half, as UW-SP rolled to the 32-point victory.

Junior guard Bradley Prinsen (Oostburg, Wis.) scored a game-high 23 points in the loss, while shooting an impressive 80 percent (8-for-10) from the floor. Prinsen added six made free throws in 34 minutes of action.

The Pointers were led by Austin Ryf who finished with a team-high 22 points. Ryf shot 6-for-7 in the opening half, including 5-for-5 from 3-point range, tallying 17 points. Alex Richard added 14 in the first half on 6-for-6 shooting for the Pointers, who connected on 8-of-10 from deep in the second half.

UW-SP jumped out to a 15-5 lead before the Falcons took a 30-second timeout with 14:12 to go in the opening half. An old school 3-point play by Prinsen cut the Pointers lead to 15-8 before the opposition scored 11 unanswered points, making the score 26-8 with under 10 minutes to go in the first half. The rest of the opening 20 minutes saw the Pointers hold a lead between 15 and 20 points, taking a 23-point lead into the break.

In the second half the lead would hover around 25-30 points with the largest lead reaching 32 points at one point. Prinsen scored in double-figures in each half with 12 points in the second and 11 before the break.

Junior guard Taron Edwards (Racine, Wis.) scored eight points after the break for the Falcons. CUW had eight players in the scoring column. Junior Brett Boettcher (New Holstein, Wis.) added seven points and a team-best six rebounds for the Falcons.

CUW won the turnover battle on Saturday, forcing UW-SP, a team ranked first nationally in fewest turnovers per game, tied for a season-high 14 turnovers. The Falcons committed just 12 turnovers in the contest.

Joe Ritchay joined Ryf and Richards in double-figures for the Pointers. Ryf posted 22, while Richards added 21 and Ritchay chipped in with 16 points. The three players combined to shoot 24-for-29 from the floor.

The game was also a final contest for three Falcons – Boettcher, senior Mark Scholz (Greenfield, Wis.) and senior Dustin Thumann (Marshfield, Wis.). The three players had many great moments in a Falcons uniform, ending their careers in the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Tournament.

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