The UW-Fox men’s basketball team battled back from an early 12 point deficit on Wednesday night to post a 74-68 win over UW-Sheboygan in a WCC Tournament quarterfinal game. With the win the Cyclones advance to the tournaments final four, which will be held in Wausau at UW-Marathon beginning on Saturday.
Alex Nelson’s 3 pointer in transition gave the Wombats an early 22-10 lead. Chris Searl, seeing his first action off the bench since dislocating his knee on January 28th, sparked the Cyclone offense with two assists culminating in UW-Fox lay-ups. Those lay-ups started a Cyclone run that would see them take a 32-31 lead on a Travis Puyleart 3-point play with 4:18 left in the first half. UW-Sheboygan countered with a run of their own to take a 38-36 halftime lead.
In the 2nd half the Cyclones got a lift off the bench from guard Adam Kaminske, who scored 14 points on the night, hitting all 5 shots he attempted. His 3-pointer with 10:33 remaining gave UW-Fox a lead it wouldn’t relinquish, and a little later his 3 point play would push the lead to 5 with under 8 minutes to play.
Perhaps even bigger was the job he did defensively on reining WCC player of the year Tim Schwoerer, who scored 22 points in the first half. Kaminske helped hold him to only 2 points in the second half, which was key to the Cyclones win.
Travis Puyleart led the Cyclones with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Korey Jagiello and Tanner Hackl provided a nice one two scoring punch in the post. Jagiello finished with 16 points and 7 rebounds and Hackl 10 points and 7 rebounds. Trevor Smith handed out 3 assists and recorded 0 turnovers in 35 plus minutes of action. All 5 of his points came in the games final minutes, including a driving lay-up with the shot clock inside of 5 seconds, and 3 free-throws in the final minute.
The UW-Fox men will play UW-Richland in a WCC Tournament semi-final game on Saturday night in Wausau at UW-Marathon. Tip-off is set for 6pm.