UW-River Falls scored the game's last five points and claimed a 57-53 win over the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team on Saturday (Feb. 7) in River Falls.
The Titans took a 53-52 advantage on a layup by AJ Mueller with 2:15 remaining, but the Falcons grabbed the lead for good on a 3-pointer by CJ Lewis 24 seconds later.
UW-Oshkosh committed a turnover on the ensuing possession and then fouled UW-River Falls' Eli Rockett with 1:33 to play. Rockett split his two free throw attempts to give the Falcons a margin of three points (56-53).
Following a UW-Oshkosh turnover and a missed 3-pointer by UW-River Falls, the Titans' Alex Olson missed a 3-point shot with 12 seconds left. Falcon Jack Herum was fouled on the rebound and converted 1 of 2 free throws with 10 seconds remaining to create the game's final score. A pair of UW-Oshkosh shots in the last four seconds missed the mark.
Olson scored a game-high 15 points for UW-Oshkosh. He also tallied three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sean Dwyer added 12 points on 4 of 9 shooting behind the 3-point arc. Mueller and Nick Olson led the Titans with six rebounds apiece.
Jon Christensen led UW-River Fall with 14 points. The Falcons also received 11 points from Lewis and Grant Erickson. Lewis made all four of his shots from the field, including a trio of 3-point attempts. Herum led all players with nine rebounds.
UW-River Falls (9-12, 7-5 WIAC), which snapped a five-game losing streak to the Titans, now sits alone in fourth place in the league standings. UW-Oshkosh (12-9, 6-6 WIAC), which defeated the Falcons, 59-57, on Jan. 7 in River Falls, fell one spot to fifth place.
After Taylor Jansen jumper gave the Titans a 2-0 lead 43 seconds into the contest, the Falcons responded with a 10-2 run to take a six-point advantage (10-4) at the 15:51 mark. UW-River Falls then increased its lead to 18-11 for the game's largest margin.
UW-Oshkosh battled back with nine straight points to take a 20-18 lead with seven minutes left in the opening period. Dwyer and Charlie Noone closed the run of points with 3-point baskets.
There were four more lead changes during the first period, with the last coming on a free throw by Alex Olson that gave the Titans a 27-26 edge with 3:46 left before halftime. A Kyle Bolger free throw and a Jansen layup at the buzzer put UW-Oshkosh ahead 30-26 at intermission.
UW-Oshkosh shot 50 percent (9-18) from the field during the first half, including 62.5 percent (5-8) on 3-point attempts. UW-River Falls converted just 37.5 percent (9-24) of its first-half shots.
UW-River Falls scored the first five points after halftime to take a 31-30 advantage with 18:22 left. Consecutive jumpers by Bolger and Jansen swung the lead back to the Titans less than one minute later.
The back-and-forth play continued as a 3-pointer by Dwyer provided UW-Oshkosh with a 38-36 lead with 13:58 to go. UW-River Falls took a 43-41 lead on a 3-pointer by Erickson and increased its advantage to 52-47 on an Erickson free throw with 4:21 remaining.
UW-Oshkosh responded to the deficit with baskets by Bolger, Alex Olson and Mueller over the next 2:06 to take its last lead at 53-52.
UW-Oshkosh finished the game shooting 37.5 percent (18-48) from the field, 40.9 percent (9-22) on 3-point attempts and 42.1 percent (8-19) from the free throw line.
UW-River Falls shot 43.5 percent (20-46) from the floor, 40 percent (6-15) from beyond the 3-point arc and 52.4 percent (11-21) from the free throw line. The Falcons held small advantages in rebounds (34-32), blocks (3-1) and steals (4-3). Both teams committed 10 turnovers.
UW-Oshkosh plays at UW-La Crosse on Wednesday (Feb. 11). The Titans defeated the Eagles, 67-61, on Jan. 21 in Oshkosh.