Connor Gunderson gets fouled as he goes up for a layup in the Oles 82-81 loss to UW-Stevens Point on Saturday afternoon at the Skoglund Center. Box Score| Photo Gallery

Men's basketball falls in closing seconds to UW-Stevens Point

Michael Abdella
November 17, 2012

NORTHFIELD, Minn.- Joe Ritchay hit a game-winning three-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to lift No. 15 UW-Stevens Point to an 82-81 win over the St. Olaf men's basketball team in a non-conference game on Saturday afternoon at the Skoglund Center.

After St. Olaf missed three free throws in the final 30 seconds, Ritchay drilled a deep three pointer from straight on to turn a 81-79 Ole lead into a win for the Pointers. Following the three, St. Olaf had to go the length of the court in under two seconds and the desperation in-bounds pass was knocked away.

Sterling Nielsen led St. Olaf with 22 points on 9-15 shooting. The sophomore guard also added six rebounds, four assists, and two steals. Three other Oles were in double figures. Connor Gunderson scored 13 points, Charlie Aslesen had 12, and first-year Riley Aeikens nailed three threes on his way to 11 points.

The Pointers were led by Trevor Hass, who scored 25 points. Hass went 8-14 from the field, including 6-11 from behind the arc. Tyler Tillema scored 15 points, while Austin Ryf and Clayton Heuer each had 12. Heuer also collected nine rebounds.

In the high scoring affair, UW-Stevens Point shot an even 50% from the field (26-52) and St. Olaf shot 50.7% (34-67). The two teams combined for 21 threes, as the Pointers made 13 and the Oles made eight. St. Olaf shot itself in the foot by only making five of 14 free throws. UW-Stevens Point led by as many as 13 in the first half and took a one-point lead into halftime. After the break, St. Olaf led by 10 on two occasions, but Hass' heroics stole the Pointers a win.

UW-Stevens Point improves to 2-0 with the win, while St. Olaf falls to 1-1 on the young season. The Oles return to action at the Skoglund Center on Monday night when Luther comes to town. Last season, the Norse defeated the Oles 65-55 in Decorah.

Contact media relations specialist Mike Ludwig at (507) 786-3834 or ludwigm@stolaf.edu.