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The UW-Stout men’s basketball team gave the defending WIAC champion a push, but ultimately ran out of steam in the conference tournament’s opening round on Monday.

The Blue Devils rallied after falling behind UW-Oshkosh, pulling to within six points of the Titans’ lead in the final minute, but couldn’t complete the comeback in a 98-89 defeat in Oshkosh.

The Blue Devils fell behind in the first half and never quite recovered. A 27-9 run from the Titans between the end of the first half and the beginning of the second provided a big enough cushion. The spurt put Oshkosh, the defending WIAC Tournament champion, ahead by 19 points.

Stout battled to get back into the game in the final minutes. The Blue Devils outscored the Titans 21-12 for a period late in the second half, and Lovell Williams’ 3-pointer cut the deficit to six with 48 seconds remaining. But Oshkosh shot 5 of 6 from the free throw line in the final minute to ensure that Stout couldn’t complete the comeback.

Armani Tinsley scored 23 points to lead the Blue Devils in the season-ending defeat. Williams, a freshman, added 19 points and six assists. Jon Ciriacks scored 18 points and pulled down seven rebounds.

Stout couldn’t overcome a career-high 27 points from Oshkosh’s Hunter Plamann. Levi Borchert added 21 points for the Titans.

The Blue Devils were hot from 3-point range, hitting 13 times from beyond the arc. Williams connected on five of them. But Oshkosh shot 60% from the field and nearly reached triple digits on the scoreboard.

Stout finished the truncated season with a 3-6 record. The Blue Devils won two of their final three games of the winter.

The season featured the first home WIAC victory for Stout under head coach Jim Lake. That victory came last Friday over UW-Whitewater.

Oshkosh moves on to face UW-La Crosse in Wednesday’s WIAC semifinals. The Eagles defeated UW-Stevens Point 76-68 on Monday.

Women’s basketball

For the third straight game, a slow start proved costly for the UW-Stout women.

It came against a familiar foe, too.

UW-Whitewater held the Blue Devils to five points in the first quarter and cruised to a 66-49 victory in the first round of the WIAC Tournament on Monday in Whitewater.

Last week, the Warhawks contained Stout to two points in the first period of the teams’ first matchup before outscoring them 28-14 in the first quarter two days later.

History repeated itself on Monday, as the Blue Devils shot 18% in the first quarter and couldn’t quite recover. They ended the period trailing by seven points and were unable to pull off a rally.

A 13-7 Stout run to start the fourth quarter trimmed the deficit to seven points at 51-44, but the Blue Devils didn’t get any closer. The Warhawks kept them at arm’s length the rest of the way.

Whitewater closed the game on an 18-5 run.

Lizzy Olsem scored 16 points to lead Stout. Liz Oswald and Haylee Yaeger added nine points and four rebounds apiece.

The Blue Devils concluded the season with a 2-7 record.

Whitewater will take on UW-Eau Claire in Wednesday’s WIAC semifinals at the McPhee Center.