Titans Open NCAA Postseason With Win Over Pioneers

Adam Fravert had 14 points and 15 rebounds during the Titans' win over the Pioneers.
Adam Fravert had 14 points and 15 rebounds during the Titans' win over the Pioneers.

Adam Fravert recorded a double-double as UW-Oshkosh went on a 20-0 scoring run in the second half and hung on for a 74-67 triumph over Marietta College (Ohio) during the first round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship on Friday (March 2) in Springfield, Ohio.

UW-Oshkosh (21-7) shot 8-for-11 from the field during its 20-point surge that turned a 50-46 deficit with 11:53 remaining into a 66-50 advantage at the 7:32 mark. The Titans took the lead for good at 51-50 following a 3-pointer by David Vlotho with 11:02 left.

Marietta College (21-7) responded with a 17-2 scoring run to pull within 68-67 with 55 seconds to play, but UW-Oshkosh's Charlie Noone knocked down a jumper for a 70-67 Titan lead with 36 seconds remaining.

The Pioneers' DeVaughn Wingard missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer on the following possession. Marietta College then notched a steal with 14 seconds left, but Anthony Wallace missed a layup that led to a rebound by UW-Oshkosh's Brett Wittchow.

Ben Boots converted a pair of free throws to increase the UW-Oshkosh lead to 72-67 with 12 seconds to go. Fravert registered a block on the ensuing Marietta College possession, and Boots made two more free throws to provide the final score with three seconds left.

The Titans, ranked 24th in the country by D3hoops.com, are in the second round of the NCAA postseason for the first time since reaching the national quarterfinals in 2003.

UW-Oshkosh advances to play Wittenberg University (Ohio). The opening tip is set for 6 p.m. (CST) in Wittenberg University's Pam Evans Smith Arena. Third-ranked Wittenberg University (27-2), which improved to 16-0 at home this season, defeated Misericordia University (Pa.), 91-61, in the first round on Friday.

Fravert concluded Friday's victory with 14 points and a career-high-tying 15 rebounds for his seventh double-double of the season.

Noone added 14 points and six rebounds for the Titans while Boots recorded 13 points, seven rebounds, eight assists and two steals.

UW-Oshkosh's Jack Flynn contributed 13 points and eight rebounds as the Titans had at least four double-digit scorers for the time this season.

The Titans finished with a commanding 47-30 advantage in rebounds, including 11-2 on the offensive end. UW-Oshkosh went into the contest sixth nationally with a +9.0 average rebounding margin.

UW-Oshkosh shot 39.4 percent (26-66) from the floor, 36.4 percent (12-33) from 3-point range and 76.9 percent (10-13) at the free throw line.

Marietta College, which was held to less than 70 points for the fourth time this season, shot 39.7 percent (27-68) from the field and 31.3 percent (10-32) from beyond the arc. The Pioneers made each of their season-low three free throw attempts.

Avery Williams paced the Pioneers with 12 points and two blocks.

Caleb Hoyng and Dillon Young chipped in 11 points apiece for Marietta College, which also received 10 points from Kyle Dixon. Young had a team-leading seven rebounds and seven assists.

Marietta College scored the first seven points of the game and maintained an advantage until Flynn recorded a layup for a 22-21 UW-Oshkosh lead with 7:45 left in the first half.

Leading 27-25, UW-Oshkosh tallied seven straight points to increase its advantage to 34-25 following a 3-pointer from Wittchow, who finished with seven points and four rebounds.

Marietta College's Mike Hall drained a 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer to cut its deficit to 35-34 at intermission.

The Pioneers reclaimed a 47-45 lead on a 3-pointer by Hoyng with 13:08 left in the second half, and Wingard completed a three-point play for a 50-46 advantage at the 11:53 mark.

UW-Oshkosh's decisive 20-point run began with a jumper from Fravert. Boots added a 3-pointer for a 54-50 lead, and Flynn's three-point play extended the advantage to 57-50.

Fravert scored two baskets in the paint, Brian Wilman registered a layup and Noone capped the UW-Oshkosh 20-point barrage with a 3-pointer for a 66-50 lead.

Marietta College, which missed seven consecutive shots from the field and committed a pair of turnovers during the Titans 20-point outburst, pulled within 68-61 on a 3-pointer from Hoyng.

Two free throws and a layup by Wallace cut the Pioneer deficit to 68-67 with less than a minute to play before Noone's jumper snapped a nearly six-minute scoreless stretch by the Titans.

UW-Oshkosh improved to 8-7 in eight NCAA postseason appearances.

UW-Oshkosh's Postgame Press Conference

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship • NCAA.com Website

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Interactive Bracket

Photo courtesy of Nick Falzerano, Wittenberg University