Ben Boots had a team-leading 18 points in limited action as the nationally ranked UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team jumped out to a large early lead and cruised to a 95-48 win over Finlandia University (Mich.) on Tuesday (Dec. 4) in Kolf Sports Center.
UW-Oshkosh (5-1) scored the first 10 points of the game before building leads of 34-7 in the first half and 92-42 during the second period. The Titans, ranked seventh in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, owned a double-digit advantage for the final 34:19 of the contest. Finlandia University trailed by at least 35 points for the entire second half.
The Titans concluded the game with advantages of 44-36 in rebounds, 18-9 in assists, 5-24 in turnovers and 16-1 in steals. UW-Oshkosh's five turnovers matches the program's best in the 224 games since committing just four against Silver Lake College on Feb. 20, 2010. Its 16 steals were the most since registering a school-record 20 against Maranatha Baptist University on Dec. 8, 2015.
UW-Oshkosh shot 50 percent (38-76) from the floor Tuesday, marking the team's third game this season with at least a .500 field goal percentage. The Titans went 11-for-34 (32.4 percent) from beyond the 3-point arc and 8-for-11 (72.7 percent) at the free throw line. The Titans' 11 made 3-pointers are a season high.
Boots shot 7-for-9 from the field, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range, on the way to his 66th career double-digit scoring performance. Boots added three assists in a team-high 19 minutes.
Titan reserves accounted for 39 points, 19 rebounds and seven steals as no UW-Oshkosh starter played during the final 15 minutes. The Titans, who committed just one turnover in the second half, got seven points off the bench from Connor Duax and six apiece from Declan O'Connor and Jake Zeitler.
UW-Oshkosh's 10-point run to open the game featured a pair of 3-pointers by Wittchow and four points from Flynn, including a dunk that gave the Titans a 7-0 advantage.
The Titans then scored 16 unanswered points to extend their lead to 34-7, and UW-Oshkosh led by at least 23 points for the final 28:20 of the game. The 16-point outburst was sparked by jumper from Boots with 13:11 remaining in the first half and culminated with a pair of free throws by Wittchow at the 6:57 mark.
Boots had six points and Vlotho four during the decisive 16-point run, which included six straight missed field goals and eight turnovers by the Lions over a span of nearly seven minutes.
UW-Oshkosh shot 60 percent (21-35) from the floor during the first half on the way to building a 55-19 lead at intermission.
The Titans scored nine straight points during a span of less than two minutes to increase their lead to 69-24 and end the night for the starters with 15:24 left. UW-Oshkosh owned its largest lead of 50 points at 92-42 following a 3-pointer by Petrie with 2:55 to play.
Finlandia University (0-7) ended the game shooting 29.8 percent (17-57) from the field, 29 percent (9-31) from 3-point range and 55.6 percent (5-9) at the foul line. The Lions were held to season lows in made field goals, field goal percentage, assists and steals while setting a new season high in turnovers.
The Lions' Dylan Underwood led all players with 21 points on 7 of 20 shooting from the field, including 5-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Jaden Janke had 11 points, six rebounds and three blocks for Finlandia University while Austin Carlson registered four points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
UW-Oshkosh has won each of its 13 meetings with Finlandia University, including last season's 104-60 decision in Oshkosh.
The Titans remain at home to host Alma College (Mich.) on Friday (Dec. 7) in Kolf Sports Center.
Photo courtesy of Steve Frommell, D3Photography.com