UW-Oshkosh scored the final eight points to clinch a 62-55 victory over the Bethany Lutheran College (Minn.) men's basketball team on Saturday (Dec. 1) in Kolf Sports Center.
In a game that featured 11 ties and 25 lead changes, the Titans (2-3) went ahead for good on Jade Royston's (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) driving lay-up with 3:09 remaining. The Vikings (2-4) missed their last four shots and committed three turnovers to end the contest. Sean Wise (Sr. • Wautoma) made a great pass to set up Andre Wallace's (Fr. • Sun Prairie) lay-in that made it 58-55 with 55 seconds left.
Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) led the Titans with 17 points and five rebounds. He connected on 4-of-9 three-pointers, as UW-Oshkosh went 9-for-27 behind the arc (33 percent). The Titans outshot the Vikings, 59 percent to 33 percent, during the second half.
Neither team led by more than three during the opening 14 minutes. Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly) put in a triple and a lay-up to give UW-Oshkosh an 11-10 lead. Alex Weldon then knocked down a pair of long-range jumpers to make it a 23-20 advantage for Bethany Lutheran.
The Titans went scoreless from the 5:06 mark until 11 seconds remained in the half. Wurtz swished a three-pointer just before intermission to cut the deficit to 27-26.
Bethany Lutheran couldn't get on the board for the first 3:16 of the second period. During that time, Royston nailed two buckets and Nickel canned a three-ball to put UW-Oshkosh on top, 36-29, with 16 minutes to go.
With 10:51 on the clock, Weldon tied the score at 37 and then took the lead by finishing a three-point play. The Titans regained the momentum when Martell Hutchinson (Sr. • Milwaukee) got a breakaway steal and threw it down for a 51-50 advantage.
Sam Mageland (Sr. • Appleton) didn't attempt a shot, but he contributed with five steals and four assists. UW-Oshkosh won the turnover battle (12-20) while shooting 45 percent from the field (22-49) and 69 percent at the foul line (9-13).
Bethany Lutheran was able to take the rebounding category (36-26), but couldn't overcome 35 percent shooting from the field (17-49). The Vikings sank 14-of-19 free throws (74 percent) and 29 percent of their three-pointers (7-24).
Weldon topped the visitors with 19 points, while Derek Peterson added 12 points and seven rebounds. Pat Garvin marked a game-high eight boards.
The Titans host nationally ranked UW-Stevens Point in their WIAC opener on Wednesday (Dec. 5).