Adam Fravert recorded 22 points, eight rebounds and three assists to lead the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team to a 68-57 win over Elmhurst College on Saturday (Dec. 1) in Elmhurst, Ill.
UW-Oshkosh (4-1) led by as many as 16 points in the second half and owned a 59-44 advantage with 6:24 to play before Elmhurst College scored nine answered points to pull within 59-53 at the 3:42 mark. However, Brett Wittchow drilled a step-back 3-pointer to extend UW-Oshkosh's lead to 62-53 with under three minutes to play, and the Titans led by at least nine points the rest of the way.
Fravert shot 11 of 16 from the field en route to increasing his team-leading scoring average to 17 points per game. Fravert, who has scored in double figures 27 times in the past 36 games, had a pair of left-handed dunks Saturday that provided the Titans leads of 25-17 during the first half and 45-34 in the second period.
Wittchow and Jack Flynn added 14 points apiece for the Titans while Ben Boots chipped in 10 points, five rebounds and two steals. Wittchow also contributed five rebounds, two assists and three steals. Flynn shot 5-for-5 from the floor.
UW-Oshkosh, ranked ninth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, concluded the contest shooting 52 percent (26-50) from the field, 25 percent (4-16) from 3-point range and 63.2 percent (12-19) from the free throw line. The Titans, who owned edges of 36-34 in rebounds and 9-6 in steals, went into the game ranked seventh in the country with an .807 free throw percentage.
Elmhurst College (2-3), which entered Saturday averaging 80.8 points per game on the year, shot 34.4 percent (21-61) from the floor, 31.8 percent (7-22) from beyond the 3-point arc and 80 percent (8-10) at the foul line. The Bluejays compiled season lows in made field goals, 3-pointers and free throws, field goal percentage and rebounds.
The teams exchanged leads four times in the first half until UW-Oshkosh reclaimed a 12-11 advantage it would not relinquish following a layup by Fravert with 10:12 remaining until halftime. Back-to-back layups from Wittchow increased the Titan lead to 16-11, and a 3-pointer by Wittchow gave UW-Oshkosh its largest first-half advantage of 32-22 at the 2:57 mark.
Elmhurst College trimmed its deficit to 33-27 on a layup by Jeremy Ireland, but Flynn went 3-for-4 from the free throw line over the final 40 seconds of the first half as UW-Oshkosh took a 36-27 lead to intermission.
UW-Oshkosh scored the first five points of the second half, extending its lead to 41-27 after a free throw by Flynn and a pair of layups from Fravert. Fravert's second-half dunk later sparked a run of seven consecutive UW-Oshkosh points that included a 3-pointer by Boots and a jumper from Fravert for its largest lead of the night at 50-34 with 14:13 left.
After trailing 59-44, Elmhurst College's nine-point run featured a pair 3-pointers by Lavon Thomas and three free throws from Jake Rhode. Wittchow's 3-pointer, which snapped a string of six consecutive scoreless UW-Oshkosh possessions, was followed by a Boots jumper in the paint that extended the Titan lead to 64-53 with 1:58 remaining.
Rhode led Elmhurst College with 20 points, five assists and three steals.
Derek Dotlich added 12 points and six rebounds for the Bluejays, who also received four points and a team-leading eight rebounds from Ireland, and eight points and two steals from Thomas off the bench.
UW-Oshkosh improved its record to 2-3 against the Bluejays. Elmhurst College had won the previous two meetings by scores of 73-63 during the first round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Championship and 70-66 in overtime during a 2010 meeting in Las Vegas, Nev. The Titans' only prior victory over the Bluejays was an 88-86 decision on Nov. 28, 2007, in Oshkosh.
The Titans return home to host Finlandia University (Mich.) on Tuesday (Dec. 4) in Kolf Sports Center.
Photo courtesy of Kevin Juday, Elmhurst College Sports Information