2OT win, big loss, punctuate Titans’ basketball week
Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 14, 2013 03:02
A double overtime victory over UW-River Falls Feb. 9 at Kolf Sports Center snapped a 10-game losing streak for the UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team before falling to UW-Whitewater Wednesday in Whitewater.
The Titans couldn’t handle the Whitewater attack Wednesday night as they fell to the Warhawks 75-58.
Whitewater out shot Oshkosh from the foul line converting 26 of their 32 attempts as the Titans made just six of nine.
Whitewater also dominated the boards, outrebounding Oshkosh 37-25.
The Titans jumped ahead by five with just under 10 minutes remaining in the first half before the Warhawks took ahold of the game.
Leading the Titans in scoring was freshman Alex Olson with 14.
Fellow freshman Andre Wallace chipped in 10 more for Oshkosh.
The Titans fared better in their game against River Falls.
River Falls went on a 15-4 run to open the game and got its lead up to as many as 12 points.
Cold shooting haunted Oshkosh in the first as the starters only made a combined three shots from the field.
The Titans needed scoring from somewhere else, and they found that on the bench.
Olson paced the Titans in the first half with 11 points off of the bench.
That was good enough to cut the River Falls lead to 10 points heading into halftime.
Olson finished the game with a career high 14 points to go along with 10 rebounds and four steals. After the game, he credited the teamwork on the floor for his outburst.
“I have become more and more comfortable playing with these guys and developing more chemistry every time we go out there and it’s finally starting to click,” Olson said. “Hopefully we can keep driving, dishing and getting each other open looks into next week.”
The second half saw the Titans get their shooting back on track.
Junior guard Cory Nickel jump started the Oshkosh comeback by hitting three long-range baskets to bring Oshkosh within eight points at 38-30.
Tight defense forced 19 Falcon turnovers which led to 21 points for the Titans.
It was a back and forth game the rest of the way.
Nickel and Royston led the Titans’ comeback in the second half. Nickel scored 20 of his 26 points in the second and Royston added 12.
Two Royston free throws at the two-minute mark were the last points scored in regulation.
The overtime started out with Oshkosh on fire. They stole the ball on both of River Falls’ first possessions and turned them into easy layups, gaining the lead 62-58.
Nickel converted on two free throws with one minute and five seconds left, giving Oshkosh a three-point cushion for the final minute of play.
With eight seconds left, Falcons center Zach Peterson put up a three-point shot that bounced off of the rim but still managed to find the bottom of the net.
A Royston buzzer-beater rimmed out and the game went into a second extra period.
The second overtime saw the Titans jump out to a quick lead on another Nickel jump shot.
The lead was three points after two free throws in the late seconds by junior Dylan Wurtz and River Falls had one last chance to force another overtime.
Royston came up big with his seventh steal of the game with two seconds left, sealing the first Titans win since Dec. 30.
It was another big game for Royston. He finished with 24 points and seven of the 15 Oshkosh steals.
After the game he noted that one of their biggest goals every game is to step up the defensive pressure.
“Coach [Pat] Juckem has stressed ball pressure every day in practice,” Royston said. “Our goal is to get more than 24 deflections in a game, which will usually lead to a few steals for us. River Falls has some talented but young players, and we were able to make them play outside of their comfort zone and make some questionable decisions.”
The Titans next game will be Saturday at UW-Stout, who currently stands third in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference.