Warhawks set for Pointer invasion tonight
WHITEWATER The main rivalry in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference basketball continues tonight when UW-Stevens Point travels to Whitewater to take on the first-place Warhawks at Kachel Gym in the Williams Center.
The Warhawks are on a nine-game winning streak and lead the conference with an 8-1 record. The team’s only loss this season came at Stevens Point on Dec. 14, 79-77.
Stevens Point fell out of a first-place tie with the Warhawks on Saturday and is a game back at 7-2.
Whitewater, ranked second in this week’s D3hoops.com Top 25 poll, has played the last two games without standout Chris Davis. The 6-foot-6 senior forward out of Madison East High is recovering from two knee injuries.
Coach Pat Miller said Davis first suffered a bone bruise in the 84-70 victory over River Falls on Jan. 7. Davis then strained a MCL last Tuesday.
The Warhawks defeated Oshkosh, 62-45, on the road, and then defeated UW-Stout, 56-41, at Menomonie on Saturday without Davis.
Miller wasn’t sure Tuesday night if Davis would be available for tonight’s game.
“On Monday he did some running and shooting,” Miller said. “Today (Tuesday) he went a little bit harder. A lot of it depends on the swelling.”
If Davis does play, he’ll likely come off the bench tonight.
Davis leads the WIAC with a 24.6 point scoring average and his 8.1 rebound average.
The Warhawks have relied on their defense on their run to a 17-1 overall record.
Whitewater leads the WIAC with its 56.7 points allowed average. That has helped the Warhawks to outscore opponents by an average of 17 points a game.
“The guys have been great,” Miller said of the defensive effort. “It’s been very consistent. In the Stout game, we didn’t play well offensively, but we played great defense. Our guys have really bought into that part of the game.”
The Pointers, 14-4 overall, rely heavily on the Tillema brothers out of Randolph High. Junior Tyler Tillema is a 6-3 junior guard who is fourth in conference scoring with a 17.8 average and second with a 4.11 assist average.
Senior Dan Tillema, a 6-4 guard/forward, is fifth in league scoring with a 16.6 average.
“Those two make them go,” Miller said. “They’ve provided the majority of their scoring. Both get to the rim, are able to post up and can shoot the 3, so they have a lot of variety.
“When (Jordan) Giordana and (Trevor) Hass are on, they are really tough.”
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m.