Nickel Hits Jackpot In Las Vegas Victory

Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) scored a career-best 34 points, including 10 three-point baskets, during UW-Oshkosh's 65-53 win over the Washington and Jefferson College (Pa.) men's basketball team on Thursday (Dec. 20) in Las Vegas, Nev.

Nickel's 10 three-pointers tied a school record and is the second-highest total in WIAC history. UW-Eau Claire's Eric Burdette holds the mark with 12, while Joe Imhoff sank 10 for the Titans during the 1997-98 season. Nickel made 10-of-17 shots behind the arc and both of his two-point attempts.

UW-Oshkosh's Andre Wallace (Fr. • Sun Prairie) scored 10 points with a game-high nine boards, while Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) contributed eight points, five rebounds and five assists.

The Titans (4-5) never trailed after Nickel buried a three-pointer during the first minute of play. After Nickel's second long-range basket, UW-Oshkosh led 20-7 with 8:29 left on the first-half clock.

Using five free throws, the Presidents (3-8) pulled to within 25-16. Nickel then drained two more triples before halftime to make it 33-16. UW-Oshkosh allowed just 20 percent shooting (5-25) during the opening period.

Zach Bellhy knocked down two deep jumpers early in the second half. After three foul shots from the Presidents, UW-Oshkosh's lead stood a 43-30. Nickel responded with consecutive three-pointers to help the Titans pull away.

Bellhy tallied 11 points in the last 12 minutes to finish with 22. He added six rebounds, while Nate Bellhy and Ben Cecchini marked five points apiece and Mike Resnik had four assists.

The Titans finished with 39 percent accuracy (23-59) from the field, 34.4 percent (11-32) from behind the arc and 61.4 percent at the foul line (8-13). UW-Oshkosh won the rebounding category, 44-37, for the first time in 10 contests.

Washington and Jefferson College shot 31.5 percent (17-54) from the field. The first-time UW-Oshkosh opponent also shot 23.5 percent (4-17) behind the three-point arc and 62.5 percent (15-24) on free throws.

UW-Oshkosh concludes its Las Vegas trip with Friday's (Dec. 21) game against Aurora University (Ill.).