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Pioneers Hold On To Defeat Titans

Alex Olson scored a game-high 19 points while totaling four rebounds and four steals.
Alex Olson scored a game-high 19 points while totaling four rebounds and four steals.

UW-Oshkosh's game-tying 3-pointer was off the mark at the buzzer and UW-Platteville escaped with a 49-46 men's basketball victory on Wednesday (Feb. 4) in Kolf Sports Center.

The Titans went on a 14-3 run to take their first lead of the second half at 42-41 on a Max Schebel jumper with 2:50 remaining. It would be the first of four lead changes over the next minute.

Jake Manning answered with a layup on the ensuing UW-Platteville possession to give the Pioneers a 43-42 edge, but UW-Oshkosh's Alex Olson responded with a jumper for a Titan 44-43 lead at the 2:06 mark. Matt Oestreich put UW-Platteville ahead, 45-44, with 1:50 left, and the Titans never regained the lead. Another Manning layup increased UW-Platteville's advantage to 47-44 with 51 seconds left.

UW-Oshkosh missed three straight 3-point attempts before a layup by Schebel pulled the Titans within 47-46 with 10 seconds remaining. Manning converted two free throws to make the score 49-46 with eight seconds left, and Olson's contested 3-point attempt at the buzzer caromed off the rim.

The Titans (12-8, 6-5 WIAC) remained tied for fourth place with UW-River Falls in the WIAC standings. The Pioneers (15-6, 8-4 WIAC) stayed in third place after their eighth win in the last nine games against UW-Oshkosh.

UW-Oshkosh scored the first four points of the game before UW-Platteville ran off 10 unanswered for a 10-4 lead with 13:46 to play in the opening period. The Pioneers made their first four 3-point attempts and extended their advantage to 19-8 with just under eight minutes remaining before halftime. UW-Platteville's fifth 3-pointer of the half provided a 24-13 score, but the Titans closed with a 12-2 run over the final 4:54 of the period that trimmed their deficit to 26-25 at the break.

UW-Platteville held UW-Oshkosh to one point for the first 7:34 of the second half and pushed its lead to 38-28 at the 11:24 mark. The Titans rattled off nine consecutive points, including five by Olson, to get within 38-37 with 6:23 to play. The Pioneers missed all five of their 3-point shots and committed three turnovers during UW-Oshkosh's run. UW-Platteville's Cory Vaassen broke his team's drought with a 3-pointer that gave the Pioneers a 41-37 advantage with 6:05 left. Charlie Noone's 3-point basket pulled the Titans to within 41-40 with 4:28 to go.

Vaassen paced UW-Platteville with 13 points, seven rebounds and four steals. The Pioneers also received 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds from Jim Stocki and eight points apiece from Manning and Boston Johnson.

The Pioneers shot 45 percent (18-40) from the field, 43.8 percent (7-16) on 3-pointers and 50 percent (6-12) from the foul line.

Olson had 19 points, four rebounds and four steals for UW-Oshkosh. Schebel added 11 points and a team-high seven rebounds while Noon totaled seven points, three rebounds and three steals.

UW-Oshkosh ended the game shooting 32.1 percent (18-56) from the floor, 17.9 percent (5-28) behind the 3-point line and 62.5 percent (5-8) from the free throw stripe. The Titans made 2 of 16 (12.5 percent) 3-point shots in the second half.

The Titans play at UW-River Falls on Saturday (Feb. 7).