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Titans Overcome Early Second-Half Deficit To Defeat Eagles

Titans Overcome Early Second-Half Deficit To Defeat Eagles

Adam Fravert scored a career-high 26 points, Ben Boots added 23 and the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team overcame a second-half deficit to beat Edgewood College, 93-79, on Tuesday (Nov. 20) in Madison.

UW-Oshkosh (2-1) trailed, 62-61, before Fravert drove for a layup that provided the Titans their final lead at 63-62 with 10:53 remaining. With UW-Oshkosh clinging to an 82-78 advantage, David Vlotho drained a 3-pointer to extend the Titan lead to 85-78 at the 3:16 mark.

The Titans, ranked second in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, finished the contest with an 11-2 scoring run over the final four minutes as UW-Oshkosh improved its record to 26-4 against the Eagles, including victories in the past nine meetings.

UW-Oshkosh shot 56.1 percent (32-57) from the floor, 43.8 percent (7-16) from 3-point range and 88 percent (22-25) at the free throw line. The Titans, who went 17-for-23 (63 percent) from the field during the second half, produced their best free throw percentage in the 47 games since going 8-for-8 from the line against UW-Whitewater on Jan. 18, 2017.

The Titans held advantages in rebounds (29-25), steals (7-3), blocks (6-0) and points in the paint (44-26) while Edgewood College had a 20-13 edge in assists.

Fravert went 11 of 16 from the field on the way to eclipsing his previous career high of 25 points. He also chipped in six rebounds, three blocks and two steals.

Boots, who tallied all but six of his points in the second half, shot 6-for-12 from the floor and 11-for-12 at the free throw line while dishing out a team-leading six assists.

All five Titan starters scored in double figures as Brett Wittchow added 13 points, Jack Flynn 12 and David Vlotho 10. Wittchow, who has made each of his 11 free throws this season, pulled down a team-leading seven rebounds and registered a pair of blocks against the Eagles. UW-Oshkosh had five double-digit starters just once last season en route to its berth in the national championship game.

Edgewood College (0-2) shot 53.7 percent (29-54) from the floor, 47.1 percent (8-17) from beyond the 3-point arc and 76.5 percent (13-17) at the free throw line. The Eagles entered the game ranked last among 416 Division III teams by allowing a .612 field goal percentage in their season opener.

UW-Oshkosh exploded for 12 unanswered points in a span of two minutes to take a 12-2 lead with 17:24 left in the opening half. Vlotho accounted for seven points and Fravert the remaining five during the Titans' early scoring run.

Edgewood College responded with a 10-point run of its own, including five from Jake Negus, to knot the score at 12 with 15:23 remaining in the first period, but the scoring binges continued as UW-Oshkosh rattled off eight points in a row for a 20-12 advantage with 12:15 to go before halftime.

A layup from Boots increased the Titan lead to 26-19 before a jumper by Edgewood College's Ben Seefeld tied the score at 31 with under five minutes to play in the first half. A 3-pointer by Sy Staver gave the Eagles 39-33 advantage, and Edgewood College went into intermission with a 43-42 lead after the Titans closed the half with five straight points over the final 32 seconds on a 3-pointer from Wittchow and a layup by Flynn.

Edgewood College led by as a many as seven points early in the second half after Negus converted a three-point play for a 49-42 cushion.

Trailing 60-54 with 12:43 left, the Titans scored the next seven points to reclaim their first lead since the 4:26 mark of the first half. Wittchow sparked the seven-point run with a 3-pointer and Fravert capped it with a layup that gave UW-Oshkosh a 61-60 edge with 11:25 to play.

Tyler Lemke hit a pair of free throws to provide the Eagles their last lead at 62-61 with 11:08 remaining before Fravert's layup changed the lead for the final time 15 seconds later.

Seefeld drilled a jumper to pull the Eagles within 73-71 with 6:47 left, but Fravert and Flynn knocked down jumpers to extend the Titan advantage to 77-71 at the 5:24 mark, and UW-Oshkosh maintained a lead of at least four points the rest of the way.

Boots and Fravert combined for 33 of the Titans' 51 second-half points as Boots made 11 free throws and Fravert, who recorded a pair of three-point plays during the second period, shot 7-for-9 from the field after halftime. Fravert's dunk and subsequent free throw trimmed the Titan deficit to 53-49 with 15:46 left.

UW-Oshkosh made seven of its nine field goal attempts and six of its seven free throws over the final 7:14 of the game.

Negus paced Edgewood College with 24 points and six assists.

Seefeld contributed 18 points on 9 of 11 shooting off the Eagles bench while Edgewood College starter had 11 points and a team-leading seven rebounds.

Edgewood College's last win over UW-Oshkosh was a 56-52 decision on Dec. 28, 2003, in Oshkosh. The Eagles have not won at home against the Titans since an 85-79 victory on Dec. 30, 1993.

UW-Oshkosh conducts its home opener next Tuesday (Nov. 27) against North Park University (Ill.) in Kolf Sports Center.