UW-Oshkosh jumped to a 17-7 advantage and led by double digits the rest of the way during its 78-68 men's basketball win against Finlandia University (Mich.) on Wednesday (Nov. 25) in Kolf Sports Center. The win gave the Titans a victory in their home opener for the 24th time in 26 years.
Cory Wittwer (Jr. • Fall Creek) got the scoring started with the Titans' first five points. After a Greg Schrimpf (So. • Manitowoc) three-point basket, D.J. Marsh (Sr. • Bayside) tallied a jumper, a three-pointer and two free throws to put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 17-7, just 5:04 into play.
Midway through the first half, UW-Oshkosh (2-1) scored seven points in a span of 32 seconds to increase its lead to 33-10. That spurt featured five more points from Wittwer. Jade Royston (Fr. • Wisconsin Dells) buried a three-point shot of his own to put the Titans up 38-13 with 8:30 on the clock.
The Titans' next five baskets came from five different players as their hot shooting continued. Finlandia University (2-3) made it a 44-26 contest on Kyle Smith's three-pointer, but Wittwer buried a deep jumper just before the break to give UW-Oshkosh a 51-28 halftime lead.
Consecutive lay-ups from Marsh put UW-Oshkosh ahead, 59-30, early in the second half. The Lions came back with a 14-3 scoring streak, including a long-distance bucket by Anthony Grandberry, to cut their deficit to 62-34 with 7:34 remaining.
Jonathan Moore swished three attempts behind the arc in 71 seconds to trim the difference to 68-53. His sixth and final three-point basket got Finlandia University to 76-66 with 1:06 to play.
Marsh made it three straight games as the Titans' top scorer by marking 18 points. He also grabbed five rebounds and blocked two shots. UW-Oshkosh also received 13 points and six rebounds from Wittwer, 11 points and three steals from Schrimpf and seven points and six rebounds from Brian Washington (Fr. • Waukesha). Paul Wojahn (Fr. • Oshkosh) dished out five assists to pace the Titans, who posted a 40-31 rebounding edge.
The Lions had three players with at least 11 points, led by Moore's 22. Grandberry tacked on 12 points and Tyler Gordon 11 points and six rebounds. Finlandia University equaled the Titans' total with 14 turnovers in the contest.
UW-Oshkosh shot 46.4 percent (26-56) from the field despite missing 10 straight attempts between the 16:37 and 8:11 marks of the second half. The Titans converted 33.3 percent (7-21) of their three-point shots and 70.4 percent (19-27) of their free throws.
Finlandia University, welcomes UW-Oshkosh for a rematch on Dec. 5 in Hancock, Mich., shot 42.4 percent (25-59) from the field, 39.1 percent (9-23) behind the three-point line and 69.2 percent (9-13) from the free-throw stripe.
The Titans, ranked 24th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, aim for three victories in a row when they face 18th-ranked University of Puget Sound (Wash.) on Friday (Nov. 27) in Kolf Sports Center.