WashU's Comeback Falls Short in Lopata Championship

Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos
Photo by Danny Reise/WUSTL Photos

St. Louis, Mo., Dec. 1, 2018 – The Washington University in St. Louis men's basketball battled back from a 16-point halftime deficit to fall short in a 64-62 loss to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville in the championship game of the 35th Annual Lopata Classic Saturday at the WU Field House in St. Louis.

Platteville won its third-straight game to improve to 3-2, while WashU had its three-game win streak snapped and dropped to 4-3. 

Pomona-Pitzer College defeated Alma College 88-76 in the third-place game.

Quentin Shields of Platteville earned the Robert L. Burnes Most Valuable Player Award, and he was joined on the All-Tournament Team by Clay Gerds (Platteville), freshman forward Justin Hardy (WashU), sophomore guard Jack Nolan (WashU), Daniel Rosenbaum (Pomona-Pitzer) and Kyle Woodruff (Alma).

Nolan finished with a game-high 21 points on 8-of-18 shooting, while Hardy added 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting. Junior center Hank Hunter had nine points and eight rebounds.

WashU shot 42.1 percent (24-57) from the field, but hit just 7-of-25 from three-point range. 

The Bears trailed 33-17 at halftime after shooting just 20 percent (5-25) from the field. Nolan had six points while Hardy added five.

Senior Marcus Meyer trimmed the lead to 17-11 with 9:23 left in the first half, but Platteville went on an 8-0 run to take a 25-11 advantage following a three-pointer by Carter Voelker.

Alex Ranney canned a three with 1:09 left before half to give Platteville its largest lead of the game at 33-17. The Pioneers shot 46.7 percent (14-30) in the first half.

WashU opened the second half on an 11-2 run to cut the advantage to 35-28 with 16:36 to play. Hardy had five points during the run, including a three-pointer. Nolan's three-point play with 13:41 left in the contest got the lead down to five (38-33).

The Bears trailed 58-49 but outscored the Pioneers 13-4 in the final 3:40. Junior guard Matt Nester canned a three-pointer with one second-left to make it a two-point game.

UW-Platteville shot 44.2 percent (23-52) from the field, and outrebounded WashU 33-31. Shields had a game-high 21 points, while Robert Duax added 12.

WashU hosts Principia College (1-5) Thursday, Dec. 6, at 7 p.m. 

BEAR NOTEBOOK: WashU and Platteville have split four all-time meetings, and the teams met for the first time since 2010… The Bears were outrebounded for the first time this season … Platteville was ranked No. 10 in the D3hoops.comTop-25 Poll and advanced to the Sweet 16 in 2018 … The Pioneers are four-time NCAA Division III National Champion.