The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point men’s basketball team advanced to the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16, after winning the first and second rounds. In the first round, the Pointers defeated Concordia 88-56, as the team shot 71.7 percent from the field. Senior guards Austin Ryf, Joe Ritchay and forward Alex Richard led UWSP and scored 59 points combined, shooting 82.8 percent. Ryf led with 22 points, Richard had 21 points and Ritchay tallied 16 points. In the second round match-up against Illinois Wesleyan, UWSP outscored the Titans 35-19, for the 70-53 win. The Pointers never trailed and held the Titans scoreless for the last 7:12 of the game. Ritchay led the scoring with a game-high 19 points. Ryf also scored 14 points, while forward Jordan Lutz and guard Stephen Pelkofer each added 11 points. UWSP will get a rematch in the Sweet 16 against Emory on March 13, at Quandt Fieldhouse. Last season, the Pointers lost to Emory in the Sweet 16 at the Quandt Fieldhouse 76-73 in overtime.
On the ice, the Pointers men’s hockey team lost in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship 3-1 on March 7. No. 11 UW-River Falls defeated third-ranked Pointers, scoring three unanswered goals including a shorthand and powerplay goal in the third period. Forward Kyle Sharkey scored the lone goal for UWSP in the first period with assists from defenseman Mark Bittner and goaltender Brandon Jaeger. In net, Jaeger made 27 saves on 30 shots, while Falcons goalie Tanner Milliron stopped 23 shots out of 24. Despite the loss, the Pointers received an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament. UWSP will host Hamline University on March 21 at Willett Arena in the NCAA Quarterfinals. UWSP and Hamline met on Jan. 10, where Hamline won 5-4, snapping a six-game win streak for the Pointers at the time.
It was déjà vu for the Pointers women’s hockey team as they lost to UW-River Falls 6-1 in the WIAC championship for the second year in a row. Janna Beilke-Skoug, UWSP goalie, and WIAC player of the year, faced 22 shots in the first period and made 21 saves to keep the Pointers in it. Beilke-Skoug faced 40 shots total, recording 34 saves, she set the school record for most saves in a season with 734. Forward Kat Nejedlo scored the only UWSP goal, with an assist from defenseman Nicole Schaub, to bring the score to 3-1. With the loss, the Pointers season ended since the team did not receive a bid into the NCAA tournament.
Track and Field
On March 13-14 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the UWSP track and field teams will send nine athletes to the 2015 NCAA Indoor Track and Field championships The men’s team has two individuals and a relay team competing, while the women have three individuals. All three women are returning to the national championships after competing in the last season’s meet. Junior Kadie Flynn will compete in the weight throw after she competed in the discus throw and hammer throw last season. Junior Shannon Burke will compete in the pole vault after placing 17th last season, and senior Ana Breit will run the mile after earning All-American honors last season where she finished in eighth place. On the men’s side, the distance medley relay of Michael Evans, Matt Sosinsky, Ryan Wierzba and Calvin VanRyzin will return to national. Last season the relay team finished seventh and Wizerba received All-American honors. Sophomore Jerry Williams will compete in triple jump, while junior Dennis Haak competes in the mile run.