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Titans Unable To Knock Ninth-Ranked Warhawks From WIAC Lead

Nationally ranked UW-Whitewater shot over 58 percent for the third straight game as it marked the last 13 first-half points in a 62-50 victory over the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team on Wednesday (Feb. 17) in Kolf Sports Center.

The Warhawks (20-4/12-3 WIAC), ranked ninth in the NCAA Division III by, remain tied with UW-Stevens Point for the conference lead with one game to play. UW-Whitewater finished with 58.5 percent accuracy from the field (24-41) as it won in Oshkosh for the first time in four visits.

Showing why they're the top shooting team in the league, the Warhawks nailed five of their first seven shots. After Mike Bendall opened the contest with a three-pointer, Alex Edmunds hit a jumper and a lay-up to go in front, 11-2, with 13:32 on the clock.

The Titans (10-14/5-11 WIAC) connected on just 1-of-9 field goals to begin the game. John Flanigan (So. • Oshkosh) then swished a jump shot and D.J. Marsh (Sr. • Bayside) an inside hoop to pull within five (11-6). Paul Wojahn's (Fr. • Oshkosh) lay-in at the 5:47 mark brought UW-Oshkosh's deficit to 19-13.

DJ Dantzler tallied six points during UW-Whitewater's 13-0 run to close the opening period. Phil Negri chipped in as well, booking a triple with 1:08 left on the clock. Chris Vines then dropped in a lay-up before the horn to make it a 32-13 margin at halftime.

Marsh got the Titans' first attempt of the closing period to go after UW-Oshkosh made 6-of-27 shots (22.2 percent) during the opening 20 minutes. Following a Marsh jumper, Wojahn created a 36-21 deficit with a long-range bucket. Wojahn's lay-up pulled UW-Oshkosh to its smallest deficit (37-23) before the final score with 13:49 remaining.

Vines put two free throws and a dunk into the scorebook as the Warhawks increased their cushion. Following another Bendall jumper, Negri converted a pair of foul shots for the largest advantage of the game (56-33) with 6:23 to go.

UW-Oshkosh chipped into the margin with a Marsh dunk and Jade Royston's (Fr. • Wisconsin Dells) basket from downtown as it pulled to 58-45 with 2:04 left. The Warhawks then took the victory and swept the season series for the first time since the 2002-03 campaign.

The Titans got a game-best 17 points from Marsh, who also pulled down five rebounds. Cory Wittwer (Jr. • Fall Creek) tacked on eight points and team-leading totals of three assists and three steals.

Vines tallied 13 points to pace UW-Whitewater, which had six players register at least seven points. Dantzler added 12 points, while Negri turned in 10 points, four assists and three steals. Dustin Mitchell, the WIAC's top rebounder (9.2), and Alex Edmunds each snared seven boards.

Neither team found its stroke at the foul line, with UW-Whitewater converting 10-of-18 tries (55.6 percent). The Titans, who lead the NCAA Division III at 80.9 percent, finished with success on 12-of-18 attempts (66.7 percent).

UW-Oshkosh added 36.2 percent accuracy (17-47) from the field, including 4-of-13 hits behind the arc (30.8 percent). The Warhawks, who shot 63.6 percent (14-22) in the first half, made 4-of-11 three-pointers (36.4 percent). The rebounding category belonged to UW-Whitewater (33-23), while the Titans committed fewer turnovers (10-14).

The season finale is Saturday (Feb. 20), when UW-Oshkosh hosts Silver Lake College.