The No. 15 UW-Stevens Point men’s basketball team pulled away early in the second half and then shut down a late Lawrence University rally for a 72-64 nonconference victory on Thursday at Alexander Gymnasium.
All-American Tyler Tillema, Trevor Hass and Clayton Heuer scored 14 points apiece to lead the Pointers (1-0).
Davis DeWolfe scored 23 points and hit 8 of 10 shots from the floor to pace Lawrence (0-1). Freshman Jamie Nikitas came off the bench and added 11 points and Chris Siebert had 10.
Lawrence pulled out to a 10-point lead at 21-11 with 10:04 left in the first half, but the Pointers dominated the rest of the first half. Stevens Point went on an 18-2 run to finish the half and led 29-23 at the break.
The Pointers then scored the first five points of the second half to pull ahead 36-23 with 18:11 remaining. Lawrence finally got its offense back in gear, but the Pointers would steadily build their lead to as many as 18 points midway through the second half.
Sparked by Nikitas, Lawrence went on a 7-0 run to trim the lead to 53-42 on a pair of Siebert free throws with 8:13 left. Lawrence kept chipping away and cut the lead to 58-51 when Nikitas hit a 3-pointer with 2:54 remaining.
DeWolfe then scored the next six points for the Vikings to cut the margin to 62-57 with 1:25 left. The Vikings had a chance to cut further into the margin, but Nikitas missed a pair of free throws with 48 seconds left.
Stevens Point then hit 10 consecutive free throws in the final 46 seconds to seal the victory.
Lawrence returns to action next Wednesday when it hosts Marian University.