UW-Whitewater made 15 3-pointers – one shy of its program record – en route to defeating UW-Oshkosh, 83-57, in a WIAC-opening matchup of nationally ranked men's basketball teams on Wednesday (Jan. 3) in Kolf Sports Center.
UW-Whitewater (11-1, 1-0 WIAC), ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, connected on 15 of 25 shots (60 percent) from 3-point range, including eight of its first nine attempts from beyond the arc.
The Warhawks drilled four 3-pointers during an 18-4 scoring run that turned a 12-11 deficit into a 29-16 lead with 8:41 left in the first half. Marquis Turner hit a long-range jumper to increase UW-Whitewater's advantage to 27-16 at the 9:24 mark, and the Warhawks led by at least 10 points for the remainder of the contest.
UW-Whitewater's Mitchell Pfeifer scored a game-high 22 points and grabbed a team-leading six rebounds. He shot 7-for-12 from the floor, including 6-for-10 from 3-point range.
Andre Brown and Derek Rongstad added 16 points apiece for the Warhawks, who also received nine points and a game-best five assists from David Sachs.
UW-Whitewater, which had lost its previous two meetings with the Titans, concluded the contest shooting 48.3 percent (28-58) from the field while owning advantages in assists (14-12), turnovers (14-9) and steals (10-3).
Seventh-ranked UW-Oshkosh (10-2, 0-1 WIAC) was held to its lowest scoring output of the season after shooting 36.2 percent (21-58) from the floor, including just 19 percent (4-21) from 3-point range. The Titans, who went into the game leading the country with a +12.3 average rebounding margin, outrebounded the Warhawks, 37-36, and held a 5-4 edge in blocks.
Jack Flynn paced UW-Oshkosh with 11 points and 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. He collected seven offensive boards after entering the contest ranked seventh nationally with 4.18 offensive rebounds per game.
The teams exchanged the lead six times during the first six minutes of the game until Pfeifer sparked the Warhawks' decisive 18-4 run with back-to-back 3-pointers.
UW-Oshkosh's Brett Wittchow converted a pair of free throws to pull the Titans within 36-26 late in the first half before UW-Whitewater went into intermission with a 40-28 advantage.
Sachs sank two free throws to give UW-Whitewater a 61-40 lead midway through the second half, and the Warhawks built their largest advantage of 31 points at 74-43 as Turner beat the shot clock with a 3-pointer that capped a 23-6 run at the 6:08 mark.
The Titans won the prior two meetings with UW-Whitewater by scores of 75-61 during the semifinal round of WIAC Championship on Feb. 23 in Oshkosh and 67-63 at Whitewater on Feb. 15.
UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Jan. 6).