Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) forced overtime before Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) clinched UW-Oshkosh's 73-72 win over the Loras College (Iowa) men's basketball team on Sunday (Dec. 30) in Wisconsin Dells.
UW-Oshkosh (6-6) scored five of the nine overtime points, including Royston's free throw with four seconds remaining. Royston missed his second toss from the charity stripe, but teammate Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly) grabbed the rebound and ran out the clock.
The teams combined to make just 1-of-10 shots during overtime. Sean Wise (Sr. • Wautoma) accounted for the only basket, a lay-up that gave UW-Oshkosh a 70-68 lead.
The rest of the overtime points came on free throws, as the Duhawks' Aaron Schueller tied the score at 72 on two conversions with 27 seconds left. His points followed a pair of Royston free throws with 2:39 remaining.
UW-Oshkosh trailed 66-60 with 57 seconds left in regulation. Nickel then drained a three-pointer before the Duhawks' Josh Bruns made 1-of-2 free throws with 24 seconds remaining.
The Titans pulled to within 67-65 on a Royston lay-up with 16 seconds to play. Schueller then made 1-of-2 free throws before Nickel forced overtime on his long-range jumper with five seconds left. Loras College's Connor Mooney missed a deep attempt as time expired.
UW-Oshkosh scored its first 12 points on four three-point baskets. Nickel connected from long range to give the Titans a 12-11 lead six minutes into the contest. Loras (5-6) eventually tied things up at 18 on Jake Rutan's lay-in.
Nathaniel Smith made a jumper and lay-up to put the Duhawks ahead, 27-26. Wurtz then drilled a three-ball just before the break to make it 29-29 at intermission.
It was a tight contest in the second period, as a Wurtz three-pointer pulled the Titans within 47-46. Loras then went on a 15-5 run, including two three-pointers from Schueller, to take a 62-51 lead with 4:25 remaining.
Royston finished with game-highs of 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists. Nickel scored 18 points, while Wurtz tallied 11 points and seven rebounds. The Titans also received eight points and five rebounds from Andre Wallace (Fr. • Sun Prairie) and seven points and five assists from Wise.
UW-Oshkosh made 12-of-31 three-pointers (39 percent), as it shot 43 percent (26-61) overall. The Titans sank nine of their 13 free throws (69 percent).
Schueller paced Loras with 16 points, while Mooney scored 10 and Justin Schneider nine. Bruns and Smith both collected seven rebounds.
The Duhawks shot 41 percent (25-61) from the field, 29 percent (8-28) behind the three-point line and 67 percent (14-21) from the free throw stripe.
The next 13 games are WIAC contests for the Titans, who host UW-Superior on Thursday (Jan. 3) in Kolf Sports Center.