Titans Rally Back In Closing Minutes To Defeat Knights

Alex Van Dyke collected a rebound and blocked a shot against the Knights.
Alex Van Dyke collected a rebound and blocked a shot against the Knights.

Ben Boots had 22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals to lead the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team to a 79-74 comeback victory over Calvin College on Saturday (Dec. 9) in Grand Rapids, Mich.

UW-Oshkosh (7-0) trailed, 74-68, with 4:25 remaining before the Titans closed the contest with an 11-0 scoring run.

Charlie Noone drilled a 3-pointer to give the Titans a 75-74 advantage with 48 seconds to play. The lead was UW-Oshkosh's first since owning a 4-2 edge at the 17:59 mark of the first half. Boots then converted each of his four free throws over the final 20 seconds to preserve the win.

Calvin College (2-6) missed all seven of its shots from the field and committed one turnover over the final 4:25.

UW-Oshkosh, ranked eighth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, is off to its best start since opening the 2007-08 season with seven consecutive victories.

Boots notched his first double-double by shooting 7-for-14 from the floor, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range, and grabbing a career-high 10 rebounds.

Noone added 19 points on 7 of 16 shooting from the field, including 5-for-12 from beyond the 3-point arc.

UW-Oshkosh's Jack Flynn contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for his third double-double of the season.

Brett Wittchow chipped in nine points for the Titans, who also received seven points and five assists from Adam Fravert.

UW-Oshkosh concluded the contest with advantages in field goal percentage (.482 to .452) and assists (22-21) while Calvin College owned edges in rebounds (32-31), steals (6-5) and turnovers (9-8).

The Titans shot 13-for-30 (43.3 percent) from 3-point range and 12-for-16 (75 percent) at the free throw line. UW-Oshkosh's 13 3-pointers were a season high.

The Knights made 50 percent (12-24) of their 3-pointers and 75 percent (6-8) of their attempts at the foul line.

Calvin College's Luke Morrison drilled a 3-pointer at the 17:25 mark of the first half for a 5-4 lead that the Knights wouldn't relinquish until the final minute of the game.

UW-Oshkosh forged a tie at 7 on a 3-pointer from Wittchow with 16:36 left in the opening period, but Calvin College built a 21-12 advantage following back-to-back baskets by Morrison, who finished the game with seven points.

Flynn and Noone accounted for three points apiece as the Titans scored six unanswered points pulled within 21-18, but the Knights responded with six straight points of their own to increase their advantage to 26-18 with just over eight minutes remaining in the first half.

Trailing 41-31 with three minutes to go before intermission, UW-Oshkosh tallied 10 straight points, including six by Boots, to pull even at 41 with 88 seconds to play in the first half. Noone then knocked down a jumper to tie the score at 43 at halftime.

Calvin College scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second half, building its lead to 54-45 on a 3-pointer by Derrick DeVries with 16:46 remaining.

Jason Walter connected from 3-point range to give the Knights their largest lead of 14 points at 62-48 with 14:23 left, but UW-Oshkosh went on a 20-6 scoring run to even the score at 68 with 6:05 remaining.

Calvin College maintained a 66-53 advantage with 12 minutes to go before shooting 3-for-17 from the floor during the remainder of the contest.

Boots drove for a layup to trim the UW-Oshkosh deficit to 68-63 with nine minutes left and his 3-pointer tied the score at 68 at the 6:05 mark.

The Knights stretched their lead back to 74-68 following three points apiece from DeVries and Alex Bos, but a 3-pointer from Noone pulled UW-Oshkosh within 74-72 at the 3:34 mark.

The teams combined to miss five straight shots from the field, including three by the Knights, until Noone's 3-pointer gave the Titans the lead for good at 75-74 nearly three minutes later.

Calvin College's Tony Canonie then missed a 3-pointer and committed a turnover on consecutive possessions while Boots converted his only four free throw attempt of the game to provide the final score.

DeVries led the Knights with 19 points and six rebounds. He shot 7-for-14 from the floor, including 4-for-7 from 3-point range.

Walter and Vos added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Calvin College, which also received eight points and a team-high six assists and two steals from Canonie.

The Titans have won two of their three meetings with Calvin College. UW-Oshkosh downed the Knights, 73-52, last year. Calvin College won the first meeting by a 75-63 score during the 2014-15 season.

UW-Oshkosh is off until traveling to play Oregon institutions George Fox University on Dec. 19 and Willamette University of Dec. 21.