The third time proved to be the charm for the UW-Stout women’s basketball team as the Blue Devils avenged two regular season losses with an 81-69 win over UW-Platteville in the first round of the WIAC Championship at Johnson Fieldhouse Wednesday.
The Pioneers (11-15) had swept the two regular season games over the Blue Devils (18-8) and gave Stout a run for their money in the fourth period tonight, getting as close as five points, 72-67, with just over a minute to play. Stout put the clamps on the Pioneers, allowing them only two free throws the rest of the way. Stout went 9 for 10 from the line in the last 70 seconds of the game, with Liz Oswald and Becky Fesenmaier each downing four shots and Kyncaide Diedrich one for Stout’s margin of victory.
The win was Stout first WIAC playoff win since the 2009-10 season and the Blue Devils advanced to play top-seeded UW-Oshkosh on Friday in Oshkosh.
Stout never trailed in the game, jumping out to a 10-point, 13-3 lead at 3:57 of the first quarter. Stout held a 20-12 lead at the end of the quarter. A buzzer-beater by Bailey Diersen closed out the first half, giving Stout a 32-23 lead heading into the locker room.
Diedrich matched Stout’s biggest lead of the game to that point, 13 points, when she hit a buzzer-beater to close out third period with a 57-44 advantage. The Blue Devils built has much as a 15 points lead early in the fourth period and the Stout advantage stayed in double figures until the Pioneers made a run. Maiah Domask and Caitlyn Tipton did the most damage, with Domask scoring six points and Tipton scoring four points to get the Pioneers within five points, 72-67, with 1:18 remaining. Domask would score two more points, but that would be it.
Domask led all scorers with 21, 16 in the second half. Platteville got 16 points from Morgan Horstman and 11 from Tipton. Platteville shot 39.7 percent (23-58) from the field and was 19 of 24 from the line.
Bailey Diersen led Stout with 18 points, hitting 5 of 10 field goals, including a 3-pointer, and 7 of 11 from the line. Amber Fabeck contributed 14 points, Diedrich 13 and Oswald 12. Fesenmaier, who hadn’t scored in the last 11 games, finished the night with seven points. Stout shot 50 percent (26-52) from the field and made 23 of 32 free throws.
The win makes Stout 3-0 against Platteville in the WIAC tournament, but the win also stopped a four-game regular season losing streak to the Pioneers.