Charlie Noone scored 19 points and Adam Fravert added a career-high 13 off the bench to lead the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team to a 67-63 win at nationally ranked UW-Whitewater on Wednesday (Feb. 15).
UW-Oshkosh took its last lead at 60-58 on a layup from Ben Boots with 50 second left, and the Titans made 5 of 6 free throws over the final 25 seconds en route to snapping a 16-game losing streak to UW-Whitewater and winning their eighth consecutive road contest.
With the victory, UW-Oshkosh (15-9, 8-5 WIAC) moves into a tie for second place in the league standings with UW-Whitewater (19-5, 8-5) and UW-Eau Claire (18-6, 8-5) with one game remaining. UW-Whitewater is ranked 17th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com.
The Titans can clinch the second seed and a first-round bye in next week's WIAC Championship with a victory at UW-Stout (13-11, 4-9 WIAC) in the regular-season finale on Saturday (Feb. 18) in Menomonie.
UW-Oshkosh, which suffered a 73-67 home loss to UW-Whitewater on Jan. 18, defeated the Warhawks for the first time since a 65-64 decision on Feb. 18, 2009, in Oshkosh. The Titans also secured their first win in Whitewater since a 68-67 overtime triumph on Jan. 18, 2006.
In Wednesday's win, UW-Oshkosh held the Warhawks to a season-low 34.5 percent (19-55) field goal percentage and owned a 46-36 rebounding advantage. The Titans, who shot 39 percent (23-59) from the floor, also had a 15-8 advantage in assists.
UW-Whitewater, which went into the game ranked third nationally by shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range, connected on just 2 of 14 attempts (14.3 percent) from long range and missed its last eight shots from beyond the 3-point arc.
Noone, whose 66 3-pointers pace the WIAC, shot 5-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range. He also made five of his six free throws, including one that provided the final score with seven seconds to play, on the way to leading the Titans in scoring for the 10th time this season.
Fravert, who entered the game with 15 points on the season, added a career-best seven rebounds and three blocks.
UW-Oshkosh's Jack Flynn contributed 10 points, six rebounds and three blocks, and David Vlotho chipped in three points and a team-leading eight rebounds in reserve roles. The Titan bench outscored UW-Whitewater reserves, 28-12, and pulled down 23 of the team's 46 rebounds.
UW-Whitewater scored on its opening possession and maintained a lead until midway through the second half.
UW-Oshkosh missed its first six shots from the field but cut its deficit to 8-7 on a 3-pointer by Wittchow with 14:47 left in the first half.
The Warhawks answered with seven consecutive points to extend their advantage to 15-7 at the 12:16 mark of the opening period and went into intermission with a 31-26 lead.
UW-Oshkosh shot just 37.9 percent (11-29) from the floor and 12.5 percent (1-8) from the free throw line during the first half while UW-Whitewater connected at a .357 (10-28) field goal rate and made 9 of 11 (81.8 percent) of its attempts at the foul line.
UW-Whitewater built its largest lead of 11 points at 41-30 with 15:11 to play, but the Titans responded with 10 straight points to claw within 41-40 with 11:51 to go. The Titans' skein was capped by a dunk and a pair of free throws from Fravert.
Neither team led by more than four points after Fravert's dunk pulled the Titans within 41-38 with 13:24 remaining.
The Titans claimed their first lead at 44-43 on a layup from Fravert with 9:22 to play. Trailing 53-51 with just under four minutes left, Noone buried a 3-pointer and Fravert knocked down a jumper as UW-Oshkosh took a 56-53 edge.
UW-Whitewater claimed its last lead at 57-56 on a pair of free throws by Chris Jones with 96 seconds left, but Schebel made a layup on the ensuing possession for a 58-57 Titan edge.
Jones split a pair of free throws to tie the score at 58 with 64 seconds to go before Boots drove for the go-ahead layup 14 seconds later. Jones then missed a layup, and Wittchow gave the Titans a 62-58 lead on a layup off an assist from Fravert with 30 seconds left.
Jones, who scored seven of UW-Whitewater's last eight points, answered with a basket to trim the Warhawk deficit to 62-60 with 25 seconds to play, and Noone and Jones both drained a pair of free throws to make the score 64-62 with 19 seconds left.
Wittchow drained two free throws to increase UW-Oshkosh's advantage to 66-62 with 15 seconds left.
UW-Whitewater's Maurquis Turner then split two foul shots with 10 seconds remaining before Noone provided the final score by making his second free throw attempt with seven ticks left as UW-Whitewater's 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark.
Jones, who went into the game averaging a WIAC-leading 18.5 points per contest, led all players with 23 points on 7 of 19 shooting from the field.
Scotty Tyler added 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Warhawks, who also received eight points from Demetrius Woodley, and six points and a game-high 10 rebounds from Derek Rongstad.
UW-Oshkosh won its third straight game over a nationally ranked conference rival and ups its record to 5-4 against ranked teams this season. The Titans swept the season series against UW-Eau Claire by scores of 70-62 on Jan. 14 in Eau Claire and 79-66 on Jan. 28 in Oshkosh. UW-Eau Claire was ranked 10th at the time of the first meeting and 17th during the second matchup.
UW-Oshkosh also defeated then-eighth-ranked St. Norbert College, 58-45, at home on Dec. 20, and fourth-ranked UW-River Falls, 65-60, on Feb. 4 in River Falls.
The Titans improved their road record to 9-3 on the season, including 6-0 in WIAC play. UW-Oshkosh has not lost a road game since a 77-64 setback against then-17th-ranked Augustana College (Ill.) on Nov. 30.
UW-Oshkosh seeks to sweep its seven WIAC road games when it travels to UW-Stout on Saturday. The Blue Devils defeated the Titans, 74-67, on Jan. 7 in Oshkosh.