Cory Nickel (Jr. • Waupun) and Jade Royston (Jr. • Wisconsin Dells) combined for 50 points in UW-Oshkosh's 76-72 double overtime victory over UW-River Falls on Saturday (Feb. 9) in Kolf Sports Center.
Nickel tallied 26 points and Royston had 24 in the Titans' (7-16/2-12 WIAC) fifth overtime game of the year. Alex Olson (Fr. • Brookfield) also posted a career day with 14 points, 10 rebounds and four steals.
Royston made two free throws with 2:00 left in regulation to tie the score at 58. Neither team could score after that, as Arik Smith's off-balance three-pointer missed at the horn.
UW-Oshkosh stole the ball on the first two possessions of overtime. Olson made a great play to save the ball inbounds to Royston, who drove to the hoop and took a 62-58 lead. UW-River Falls eventually went ahead, 63-62, on a three-point play from Zach Peterson.
A pair of foul shots by Nickel gave the Titans a three-point lead. But with eight seconds on the clock, Peterson tossed a line-drive shot from behind the arc. The ball bounced high off the rim and through the net to make it 68-68. Royston then tried a step-back jumper at the buzzer that came up short.
UW-Oshkosh went ahead four seconds into the second overtime and stayed on top. Nickel's jump shot with 3:16 left gained a 71-68 margin. Royston then stole the ball with 0:02 remaining to clinch the win. Royston finished with seven of the Titans' 15 steals.
Thanks to 5-for-10 shooting in overtime, UW-Oshkosh finished at 39 percent overall (25-64). The Titans sank 8-of-27 triples (30 percent) and 18-of-22 free throws (82 percent).
UW-River Falls made 4-of-14 shots during the extra time to finish at 35 percent (25-71). The Falcons turned the ball over 20 times, while making 7-of-27 three-pointers (26 percent) and 15-of-17 foul shots (88 percent).
The first half belonged to UW-River Falls, as it went on a 15-4 run. UT Udo counted four points, in addition to a three-point basket from both Smith and David Berthene. The largest lead of the game was a 29-17 figure with 48 seconds left in the opening period.
Nickel jump-started the Titan comeback with three triples in a span of 2:33. His third connection pulled UW-Oshkosh within 38-30 at the 15:56 mark.
Royston tried his luck from downtown and buried two deep jumpers to make it 46-40. Josh Hopfensperger (So. • Neenah) then booked a three-point play with 6:23 left to cut the deficit to 49-48.
The Titans totaled 15 assists, including five by Dylan Wurtz (Jr. • Kimberly).
Peterson led the Falcons with 16 points and 11 rebounds. David Stanley contributed 11 points, along with 10 points and six rebounds from Ben Gresmer.
UW-Oshkosh hosts nationally ranked UW-Whitewater on Wednesday (Feb. 13) in Kolf Sports Center.
By Jon Feyen