Titans Start Fast In Preseason Defeat To Badgers

Cory Nickel hit a trio of three-pointers for the Titans
Cory Nickel hit a trio of three-pointers for the Titans

UW-Oshkosh led for the first five minutes during its 96-44 men's basketball exhibition defeat to NCAA Division I University of Wisconsin on Wednesday (Nov. 7) in Madison.

The Badgers, ranked 21st in the coaches poll, went ahead at the 14:51 mark of the first half and stayed on top the rest of the way. Wisconsin had five players in double figures, featuring 16 points from Jared Berggren and 12 apiece by Ben Brust and Frank Kaminsky.

Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly) paced the Titans with 15 points, while Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) tallied 11 points and three rebounds. UW-Oshkosh shot 42 percent during the second half and finished at 35 percent (17-48) for the game.

The Titans got off to a perfect start, hitting their first four shots. Nickel lined up a triple and swished it 30 seconds into play. Wurtz and Alex Evans (So. • Fennimore) followed with jumpers to make it 7-0. Nickel canned another mid-range shot and Wurtz buried a three-pointer to make it 12-6 with 16:14 left in the half.

Wisconsin got back into the game with a shot behind the arc from George Marshall. A Ben Brust three-ball gave the Badgers a 14-12 lead at the 14:51 mark. The run of 20 consecutive points ended when Kaminsky converted inside to go ahead, 26-12, with 9:33 on the clock.

Zach Bohannon, who had eight rebounds in the contest, knocked down a pair of free throws to give Wisconsin a 39-15 cushion. Nickel connected from downtown two minutes before halftime to make it a 44-18 margin at the break.

During the second half, Berggren dunked the ball four times. He finished the first one as he was getting fouled. The second was a reverse slam off an alley-oop from Traevon Jackson. Berggren put down a pair of one-handed jams 42 seconds apart for an 84-37 lead.

Wurtz gave UW-Oshkosh some excitement with 10 straight points in the middle of the period. He made a reverse lay-up before swishing a three-pointer. With 11 minutes remaining, he banked home a 16-foot jumper. Wurtz then nailed a triple from the top of the key to make it 66-32 at the 9:37 mark.

The Badgers stretched their lead with three long-distance jumpers in a span of two minutes. The Titans' final highlights were a three-pointer by Andre Wallace (Fr. • Sun Prairie) and a lay-in from Sam Mageland (Sr. • Appleton).

Jackson and UW-Oshkosh's Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) each posted four assists on the night. The Badgers' Ryan Evans booked a double-double with his 11 points and 10 boards.

Wisconsin compiled 57 percent shooting (36-63) overall, including 40 percent (8-20) from downtown, with 70 percent success at the foul line (16-23). The Titans sank 7-of-21 three-pointers (33 percent) and 3-of-6 free throws (50 percent).

The Badgers notched wins in rebounding (46-18), offensive rebounding (18-4) and turnovers (8-16).

Attendance for the event was 16,488 – the largest crowd to watch a UW-Oshkosh basketball game.

The Titans host St. Norbert College to open the regular season on Nov. 15 in Kolf Sports Center.

By Jon Feyen