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Wisconsin-Stevens Point captures fourth title

2015 Division III Men’s Basketball

The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point rattled off eight consecutive victories to close the regular season, all coming against opponents hailing from the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, which is one of the toughest in all of Division III. That string of success, though, was snuffed out in an upset loss to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s first conference tournament game. After the loss, the Pointers’ national ranking fell from fourth to eighth. Worse, they were only the third-ranked team in their region entering the NCAA tournament.

But the Pointers didn’t let the unexpected loss derail what had been a promising season. Five victories later, only one of those regional rivals that ranked above them – Augustana College (Illinois) – stood between Wisconsin-Stevens Point and its fourth national championship since 2004. The Pointers won convincingly, toppling Augustana 70-54 on March 21 in Salem, Virginia.

"People thought we were just going to be an average team this year," Wisconsin-Stevens Point junior guard Stephen Pelkofer said after the game. "We lost a couple All-Americans and an all-conference big man, but we returned six of our top nine, and I don't think people realized that. We had good players and guys that could step up, and we used those doubters as motivation and it obviously worked." 

The championship wasn’t earned with flash, but with effort and precision: Wisconsin-Stevens Point led the nation in scoring defense, yielding a mere 54.5 points per game this season, and connected on 40.3 percent of its 3-pointers, 12th best in the nation. 

The Results

Division III Men’s Basketball

CHAMPIONSHIP
Wisconsin-Stevens Point 70, Augustana (Ill.) 54

SEMIFINALS
Wisconsin-Stevens Point 68, Virginia Wesleyan 59
Augustana (Ill.) 68, Babson 48

ELITE 89 HONOREE
Caden Untiedt, Wisconsin-Stevens Point

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