Spartans Overcome Large Deficit To Defeat Titans

Paul Volkman scored a career-high eight points
Paul Volkman scored a career-high eight points

After falling behind by 21 points, Aurora University (Ill.) recovered for a 74-70 men's basketball win over UW-Oshkosh on Friday (Dec. 21) in Las Vegas, Nev.

The Spartans (9-3) made a late first-half run and then shot 61.9 percent (13-21) from the field in the second period to win their ninth straight game. UW-Oshkosh made 54.8 percent (17-31) of its field-goal attempts in the opening half before dropping to 24.2 percent (8-33) shooting in the final 20 minutes.

UW-Oshkosh (4-6) started fast with 20 points in the first four minutes of play. Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) scored eight points and Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) five to give the Titans a 20-7 lead.

Royston and Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly) each knocked down a three-point shot and Paul Volkman (So. • Arlington Heights, Ill.) a short jumper to make it 38-17 with 8:14 on the clock.

Aurora University counted the next 10 points and closed the first half with a 23-7 scoring run to take a 45-40 deficit to intermission. Mike Bumber scored 10 points to lead the Spartans' charge.

During the next nine minutes, Aurora University continued to roll by outscoring the Titans, 20-6. Marious Lobdell sank a pair of buckets, turning one into a three-point play. Jordan Hester's jumper with 11:08 remaining put the Spartans on top, 60-51.

After Royston's three-pointer tied the game at 51, the Titans didn't score for six minutes. UW-Oshkosh refused to quit, however, closing the gap to 71-69 with 1:53 left. Nickel missed a pair of three-point shots in the final minute before Kyle Pilmer sealed the Spartans' win with two free throws.

Nickel scored 14 points while collecting seven rebounds. The Titans also received 12 points and seven assists from Royston, 10 points and seven rebounds from Sean Wise (Sr. • Wautoma) and nine points and three rebounds from Wurtz.

UW-Oshkosh finished the game shooting 39.1 percent (25-64) from the field and 90.0 percent (10-11) from the free-throw line. The Titans made 10-of-32 three-point shots (10-32) while winning the rebounding battle, 39-30.

Bumber topped all players with 22 points. Aurora University also benefitted from Lobdell's totals of 14 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

The Spartans ended the contest shooting 49.1 percent (26-53) from the field, 43.8 (7-16) behind the three-point arc and 75 percent (15-20) from the free-throw stripe.

UW-Oshkosh is off until it plays Concordia University Wisconsin on Dec. 29 in Wisconsin Dells.