Titans Struggle Early In Loss To Pioneers

Adam Fravert recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Pioneers.
Adam Fravert recorded his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds against the Pioneers.

UW-Platteville raced out to a large early lead and defeated the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team, 72-57, on Wednesday (Jan. 17) in Platteville.

UW-Platteville (14-2, 4-1 WIAC) owned a 25-6 advantage with 7:58 left in the first half and led by at least 10 points for the final 34:31.

The Pioneers, who snapped a five-game losing streak to the Titans, held UW-Oshkosh to 6-for-29 (20.7 percent) shooting from the field during the first half.

Robert Duax paced five UW-Platteville double-digit scorers with 15 points. Quentin Shields added 14 points off the Pioneer bench while Clay Gerds had 13 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks for his first career double-double.

UW-Platteville's Matt Oestreich contributed 11 points, six rebounds and two steals, and Carter Voelker chipped in 10 points.

The teams combined to make just 10 of 43 shots (23.3 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc as Oshkosh went 6-for-27 (22.2 percent) and UW-Platteville 4-for-16 (25.0 percent).

UW-Platteville concluded the contest with advantages in field goal percentage (.433 to .328), rebounds (38-36), turnovers (11-9), steals (6-0) and blocks (3-1). Both squads registered eight assists.

The Pioneers went into the contest leading the conference in scoring offense (79.5), scoring defense (62.3), field goal percentage (.501), 3-point percentage (.436) and free throw percentage (.764). UW-Platteville's 3-point percentage ranked second in the NCAA Division III while its scoring defense listed sixth nationally.

UW-Oshkosh (13-3, 3-2 WIAC), ranked sixth in the country by D3hoops.com, entered the game with a nation-leading +12.1 average rebounding margin.

Ben Boots led all players with 21 points for the Titans, who also received 14 points from Jack Flynn.

UW-Oshkosh's Adam Fravert notched his fifth double-double of the season with 10 points to go along with a team-leading 10 rebounds and three assists. He went into the game pacing the WIAC with 8.2 rebounds per game and 21 blocks.

The Titans missed seven consecutive field goal attempts as UW-Platteville held a 16-4 lead with 13:28 remaining in the first half. A jumper from Fravert trimmed UW-Oshkosh's deficit to 16-6, but the Titans misfired on their next 11 shots from the floor while the Pioneers extended their advantage to 25-6.

UW-Oshkosh pulled within 28-17 following a 3-pointer by Jake Laihnen at the 3:21 mark of the first half. However, the Titans shot 0-for-4 from the field for the remainder of the first period and trailed, 30-17, at intermission.

Fravert made a 3-pointer seven seconds into the second half to trim the Titans' deficit to 30-20, but Duax answered with a 3-pointer on the ensuing possession, and the Pioneers led by at least 11 points the rest of the way.

Leading 37-26 with 15:38 to play, UW-Platteville scored on three straight possessions to increase its advantage to 43-26 at the 14:13 mark.

Boots made back-to-back 3-pointers to pull the Titans within 58-47 with just over five minutes left, but six straight points by the Pioneers, including five from Shields, gave UW-Platteville a 64-47 lead with 4:16 to go.

UW-Platteville, which has limited 11 opponents to 60 or fewer points this season, secured its first win over the Titans since a 49-46 decision on Feb. 4, 2015, in Oshkosh.

UW-Oshkosh travels to UW-Eau Claire on Saturday (Jan. 20).