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Titans Hurt By Second-Half Shooting Slump

AJ Mueller scored 11 points, including seven from the free-throw line, and grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.
AJ Mueller scored 11 points, including seven from the free-throw line, and grabbed a team-best seven rebounds.

The UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team couldn't overcome a second-half shooting slump in an 84-59 non-conference loss to North Park University on Monday (Dec. 15) in Chicago, Ill.

The game was tied at 39 after one period. North Park University then limited the Titans (4-4) to one field goal during the last 12:20 of the contest and 20 percent (5-25) shooting from the floor in the second half, including 0-for-12 on 3-point attempts.

The Vikings (6-1) won their sixth straight game behind 55.4 percent (31-56) field goal shooting, including a 57.7 (15-26) mark in the second period.

North Park University's Juwan Henry, who entered the contest averaging 21 points per game, scored a season-high 25 with 10 assists and four blocks. T.J. Cobbs contributed 13 points, seven rebounds and five steals for the Vikings. Michael Hutchinson and Joe Biko chipped in with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

Alex Olson led UW-Oshkosh with 15 points. AJ Mueller added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

The Vikings held advantages of in rebounds (37-32), assists (15-8), turnovers (7-14) and blocks (5-1). North Park University converted 40.9 percent (9-22) of its 3-point shots and 56.5 percent (13-23) of its free throws.

UW-Oshkosh ended the game shooting 35.4 percent (17-48) from the field and 64.5 percent (20-31) from the free-throw line. The Titans made just 5 of 22 3-point shots (22.7 percent).

North Park University opened the scoring on a 3-pointer by Henry and raced out to a 14-4 lead with 15:13 left in the first half.

Trailing 18-5 at the 13:44 mark, UW-Oshkosh scored 10 unanswered points during the next 2:41 behind five points apiece by Taylor Jansen and Olson.

A 3-point basket by Olson gave the Titans their first advantage at 21-20 with 9:26 remaining in the first half. The lead would change 11 more times before the break. Two free throws by UW-Oshkosh's Brett Linzmeier with three seconds left in the half knotted the score at 39.

UW-Oshkosh shot 52.2 percent (12-23) from the floor in the first half, while North Park University shot 53.3 percent (16-30).

Mueller made a layup 22 seconds into the second period to give UW-Oshkosh a 41-39 lead. He then converted two free throws for the Titans' last lead at 43-42 with 19:04 left.

North Park University seized control of the contest with a 14-4 run for a 56-47 lead with 14:53 remaining. The Vikings connected on 5 of 6 shots during the spurt.

Linzmeier responded with a three-point play on the Titans' next possession to trim the deficit to six. A Mueller layup pulled UW-Oshkosh within six again at 58-52 with 12:20 left, but the Titans were limited to 1 of 13 shooting during the remainder of the contest.

North Park University used a string of 15 straight points to pull away and take a 78-55 lead with 3:12 left.

UW-Oshkosh returns home to face Alma College (Mich.) on Friday (Dec. 19) in Kolf Sports Center.