A season-high 24 points from Jontae Koonkaew and a double-double by Wade Guerin helped UW-River Falls post an 82-73 triumph over the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team on Saturday (Dec. 12) in Kolf Sports Center.
Koonkaew, who scored 18 of his points in the second half, finished the contest shooting 6-of-11 from the field and 10-of-12 from the free throw line. Guerin amassed 15 points and 12 rebounds after counting seven points and nine rebounds in the first half.
UW-River Falls (3-6/1-3 WIAC) fought UW-Oshkosh off by shooting 55.8 percent (24-43) from the field, including 52.9 percent (9-17) behind the three-point line. The Falcons made 78.1 percent (25-32) of their free throws.
UW-Oshkosh (4-5/1-2 WIAC) shot 42.6 percent (26-61) from the field, but just 22.2 percent (4-18) behind the three-point arc. The Titans connected on 17 of their 20 free throws (85 percent).
UW-Oshkosh stormed out of the gate by scoring the first eight points of the contest. After making a beautiful pass for a John Flanigan (So. • Oshkosh) lay-up, D.J. Marsh (Sr. • Bayside) drove for a hoop of his own. Brian Washington (Fr. • Waukesha) then recorded a steal and a slam dunk to give the Titans an 8-0 lead just 3:08 into play.
The next 6:28 saw the Falcons outscore the Titans, 18-2. Koonkaew kicked off the rally with a three-point basket, while Guerin tallied consecutive lay-ups during the middle of the streak. Eric Gilbertson's bucket at the 10:10 mark put UW-River Falls ahead 18-10.
Six straight points by Marsh, four points by John Flanigan (So. • Oshkosh) and a Cory Wittwer (Jr. • Fall Creek) lay-up cut the Titans' deficit to 21-20 with 6:51 to play in the first half.
The Falcons came back with eight of the next 10 points, including a three-point play from Koonkaew, to take a 29-22 advantage with 4:49 left in the period. UW-River Falls went to intermission with a 32-27 lead.
UW-River Falls opened the second half with a 19-10 scoring run, including three-point baskets by Brady Hannigan and three-point plays by Koonkaew and Jake Voeltz. The Falcons then extended their advantage to 62-44 with 7:59 to play.
UW-Oshkosh bounced back to score 11 of the next 12 points, including five by Greg Schrimpf (So. • Manitowoc), to cut its deficit to 63-55 with 3:56 remaining. The Titans trailed 70-62 with 1:55 to play, but the Falcons iced the victory by making 10 of their final 14 tosses from the free-throw line.
For the fifth time in six games, Marsh scored at least 25 points. He led all players with 29 points, while Flanigan tallied 14 and Washington 11. Marsh topped UW-Oshkosh with nine rebounds as his team earned a 30-27 advantage.
UW-River Falls received 13 points from Voeltz and 11 from Spencer Shelman. Koonkaew dished out a game-best six assists. The Falcons committed 14 turnovers, but the Titans bested that total with just nine of their own.
UW-Oshkosh, which doesn't play again in Kolf Sports Center until Jan. 16, travels to Manitowoc to battle Silver Lake College on Dec. 21.