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Titans Overpower Blue Devils With Long-Distance Shooting

Shooting 8 of 10 behind the 3-point arc, Brett Wittchow scored 24 points against the Blue Devils.
Shooting 8 of 10 behind the 3-point arc, Brett Wittchow scored 24 points against the Blue Devils.

Brett Wittchow scored 24 points and Ben Boots added 21 as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team made a program-record 21 3-pointers on 31 attempts during a 91-70 victory over UW-Stout in the regular-season finale on Saturday (Feb. 17) in Menomonie.

UW-Oshkosh (19-6, 9-5 WIAC), ranked 14th in the NCAA Division III by, closed the opening period with a 30-11 scoring run over the last 10 minutes and held a 46-27 lead at intermission. The Titans, who trailed for just 16 seconds in the first half, led by at least 21 points during the final 16 minutes.

Wittchow shot 8-for-10 from beyond the 3-point arc while Boots, who notched six assists, went 7-for-9 from long range.

Charlie Noone contributed 14 points off the UW-Oshkosh bench, shooting 4-for-6 from 3-point range.

Kyle Beyak and Sam Ebersold both added 3-pointers for the Titans, who finished one shy of the conference record of 22 3-point baskets established by UW-Stevens Point earlier this season. UW-Oshkosh surpassed the old school mark of 17 3-pointers by shooting 10-for-16 from beyond the arc in the first half and 11-for-15 during the second.

UW-Oshkosh's Jack Flynn had 13 points while Ebersold and Adam Fravert chipped in seven points apiece. Fravert, the WIAC leader rebounds and blocks, compiled a game-high 10 boards, eight assists and one block.

The Titans have won their last three matchups with UW-Stout and seven of the last eight meetings. UW-Oshkosh also defeated the Blue Devils, 89-66, on Jan. 10 in Oshkosh.

UW-Oshkosh will be the third seed for the upcoming WIAC Championship and host sixth-seeded UW-UW-La Crosse (13-12, 5-9 WIAC) on Wednesday (Feb. 21) in Kolf Sports Center.

The other first round matchup in the six-team championship will feature fourth-seeded UW-River Falls (16-8, 7-7 WIAC) hosting fifth-seeded UW-Whitewater (16-9, 6-8) on Wednesday.

Top-seeded UW-Platteville (22-3, 12-2 WIAC) and second-seeded UW-Stevens Point (17-8, 11-3) earned first round byes and will host semifinal games on Friday (Feb. 23).

The winner of the conference tournament receives the league's automatic berth to the 64-team NCAA Division III Championship that begins March 2.

UW-Oshkosh, which tallied a season-high 25 assists, concluded Saturday's contest shooting 56.9 percent (33-58) from the field and a season-best 67.7 percent from 3-point range. The Titans have shot at least 50 percent from the floor nine times this season.

The Titans also held advantages in rebounds (38-27), assists (25-9), steals (5-3) and blocks (3-1). UW-Stout matched its season low with five turnovers and three steals while UW-Oshkosh committed 12 turnovers.

UW-Oshkosh went into the game ranked sixth in the country with a +9.1 average rebounding margin. The Titans also paced the WIAC in rebounds (39.1) and assists (14.3) per game, blocks (66), 3-point attempts (532) and free throw attempts (510). UW-Oshkosh made four of its five free throw attempts – both season lows – on Saturday.

The Titans scored the first five points of the game and took the lead for good at 19-16 on Beyak's 3-pointer with 9:58 left in the first half. Boots added two straight long-range jumpers in the span of 31 seconds to extend UW-Oshkosh's advantage to 25-16 before Wittchow scored back-to-back 3-pointers in less than one minute to increase the Titans' lead to 44-25 late in the first half.

Boots, Noone and Wittchow each hit 3-pointers during a stretch of 71 seconds for a 62-37 Titan lead with 15:42 remaining in the game. UW-Oshkosh went on to build its largest lead of 30 points at 70-40 following a layup by Ebersold with 13:01 to play.

A 3-pointer by Noone gave the Titans a school-record 18 with 9:38 remaining.

Boots made UW-Oshkosh's 20th 3-pointer at the 6:56 mark of the second half before Wittchow's long-range jumper with 2:49 left set the new program mark.

UW-Stout's Isaac Elliott led all players with a career-high 28 points to go along with a team-leading three assists and two steals.

Sam Ortmann added 11 points for the Blue Devils (8-17, 2-12 WIAC).

Photo courtesy of Layne Pitt, UW-Stout Sports Information