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Johnnies’ Balanced Attack Leads To Win Over Titans

St. John's University (Minn.) had four players score 14 or more points as it earned a 79-71 men's basketball victory over UW-Oshkosh on Saturday (Nov. 28) in Kolf Sports Center.

Aaron Burtzel paced the Johnnies (3-2) with a season-high 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Chris Schwartz added 17 points and four steals. St. John's University also received 15 points from Aaron Barmore and 14 from Andy Burns.

St. John's University led 37-32 at halftime and used a three-point play from Barmore and a three-point basket from Andrew Latzke to go up, 43-32. Schwartz then made a pair of free throws and Latzke another three-point shot to give the Johnnies a 48-37 advantage with 15:50 left.

UW-Oshkosh (2-3) bounced back with 14 straight points as it took a 51-48 lead with 11:13 remaining on the clock. The Titans, ranked 24th in the NCAA Division III by, had six different players score points during the run.

Cory Wittwer (Jr. • Fall Creek) buried a three-point shot to give the Titans their final lead at 58-57 with 5:34 to play. Following that basket, St. John's University got a three-point play and two lay-ups from Burtzel and lay-ups from both Barmore and Burns to go up 68-60 with 1:58 remaining.

St. John's University sealed the victory by making 11 free throws (14 attempts), including six by Barmore, in the final 1:23 of action. The Johnnies shot 85.2 percent (23-27) from the free-throw line, including 81.8 (18-22) in the second half.

UW-Oshkosh got off to a fast start as a pair baskets by D.J. Marsh (Sr. • Bayside) and a three-point basket from Greg Schrimpf (So. • Manitowoc) helped the Titans build an 11-5 lead just 4:42 into play. Five consecutive points by Schwartz then tightened the game before Burns made a lay-up to give the Johnnies a 14-13 lead with 12:03 left in the first half.

The opening period featured five lead changes, with the final one coming on a Schwartz three-point basket that gave St. John's University a 29-27 lead with 3:15 remaining before the break. Schwartz added two more three-point baskets in the last 2:22 to give the Johnnies a five-point advantage at intermission.

UW-Oshkosh received 28 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals from Marsh. Marsh topped the Titans in scoring for the ninth consecutive contest by hitting 9-of-12 shots from the field and 10-of-12 tosses from the free-throw line.

The Titans also acquired 13 points from Schrimpf, 10 points and three steals from Wittwer and five points and six rebounds from Luke Miller (Sr. • Elk Grove Village, Ill.).

UW-Oshkosh shot 44.4 percent (24-54) from the field and 89.5 percent (17-19) from the free-throw line. The Titans made six of their 21 three-point attempts (28.6 percent).

St. John's University shot 53.2 percent (25-47) from the field, including 46.2 (6-13) behind the three-point arc. The Titans grabbed 28 rebounds and committed 13 turnovers, while the Johnnies collected 22 rebounds and turned the basketball over 10 times.

UW-Oshkosh begins its 16-game WIAC schedule by hosting UW-Eau Claire on Wednesday (Dec. 2) in Kolf Sports Center.