Louis Hurd's three-pointer with 1:06 left gave UW-Stevens Point the lead for good and helped the nationally ranked Pointers pull out a 73-67 victory over the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team on Wednesday (Jan. 6) in Stevens Point.
After a D.J. Marsh (Sr. • Bayside) foul shot put the Titans ahead 65-63 with 1:35 remaining, Hurd received a pass from Jerrel Harris and connected from long distance. UW-Oshkosh (6-6/1-3 WIAC) missed a pair of shots on its next possession before Matt Moses sank five free throws in the final 41 seconds. The Titans turned the ball over with a 69-67 deficit and seven seconds to play.
UW-Stevens Point (12-1/3-1 WIAC), ranked second in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, had to battle throughout the second half. The Pointers led 35-31, but UW-Oshkosh heated up from behind the arc to come back. After two three-point baskets by Greg Schrimpf (So. • Manitowoc), Cory Wittwer (Jr. • Fall Creek) nailed a three-pointer of his own with 13:32 left to put the Titans up 40-37.
Harris connected on a jump shot and two free throws to tie the game at 43. The Titans' Brian Washington (Fr. • Waukesha) responded with a three-point play and another basket to put his team ahead 52-48 at the 9:02 mark.
UW-Oshkosh continued to fire from long range, with a Wittwer three-pointer giving the Titans a 57-56 lead. Marsh put the Titans ahead on two more occasions, but Moses made a lay-up with 2:50 remaining to make it a 63-62 advantage for UW-Stevens Point.
The Titans' costly turnover in the closing seconds was one of 13 UW-Oshkosh giveaways during the contest. UW-Stevens Point committed just six turnovers while converting 53.3 percent (24-45) of its shots from the field. The Pointers made 4-of-8 three-point shots (50 percent) and 21-of-25 free throws (84 percent).
The Pointers pounced on the Titans in the opening minutes as they took a 9-4 lead. Jared Jenkins knocked down a jumper and a free throw during the spurt, while Hurd accounted for the other two baskets.
Marsh took over the offense for UW-Oshkosh, tallying nine points in a row and 11 of his team's first 13. He swished a three-point shot at the 11:08 mark of the first half, but it was his drive less than a minute later that cut the Titans' deficit to 14-13.
Jerrel Harris ran off seven straight points to stretch the Pointers' lead to 21-13 with 9:30 left in the opening period. Wittwer answered that streak with a basket from three-point range to help the Titans battle back. Wittwer then registered the last five UW-Oshkosh points as the Titans earned a 28-28 tie at intermission.
UW-Oshkosh converted 10 of its 19 three-point shots (53.6 percent) to stay with UW-Stevens Point. The Titans made 47.6 percent (20-42) of their field goal attempts and 89.5 percent (17-19) of their free throws.
Marsh posted 22 points and seven rebounds to pace the Titans, who tallied a 25-21 rebounding edge. Wittwer tacked on 13 points, while Schrimpf scored 11 points and Washington grabbed six rebounds.
UW-Stevens Point had just five players score, but four of them racked up at least 16 points. Harris led the Pointers with a career-high 20 points, while Hurd tallied 19 and Moses and Jenkins 16 each. Moses also grabbed a team-best five rebounds.
UW-Oshkosh takes to the court at UW-Superior on Saturday (Jan. 9).