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Titans Have Little Trouble In Winning NCAA Postseason Opener

Titans Have Little Trouble In Winning NCAA Postseason Opener

Adam Fravert led UW-Oshkosh with 22 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, Jack Flynn added a double-double of his own, and the nationally ranked Titans never trailed on the way to defeating Lake Forest College (Ill.), 86-62, during the opening round of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship on Friday (March 1) in Collegeville, Minn.

UW-Oshkosh (24-3), ranked fourth in the country by, raced out to a 21-10 lead and led by at least 11 points for the final 18:54 of the contest.

The Titans advance to play in the Collegeville Regional championship game at 7 p.m. Saturday (March 2) against University of Northwestern (Minn.), which upset eighth-ranked and regional host Saint John's University by a 93-78 score Friday.

Fravert erupted for 17 points during the second half en route to recording his 13th career double-double and fourth of the season. He finished the game shooting 9-for-17 from the field, including 4-for-9 from 3-point range.

Flynn added 18 points, 10 rebounds and four assists for the Titans, who also received 17 points and three assists from Ben Boots. Flynn went 7 of 13 from the floor while Boots was 6-for-10, including 5-for-9 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Boots, the 2019 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year, now owns the school record with 258 made 3-pointers during his career. Flynn notched his team-leading eighth double-double of the season and 16th of his career.

UW-Oshkosh starters Brett Wittchow and Connor Duax chipped in eight and seven points, respectively, on Friday while reserve Brian Wilman had six.

The Titans shot 49.3 percent (33-67) from the field, 40.6 percent (13-32) from behind the 3-point arc and 87.5 percent (7-8) at the free throw line. UW-Oshkosh, which knocked down at least 11 3-pointers for the 12th time this season, owned advantages of 48-28 in rebounds, 14-7 in offensive rebounds and 23-6 in assists.

UW-Oshkosh has outrebounded 26 of its past 29 opponents dating back to last season as the Titans entered the night ranked 13th in the country with a +15.7 average scoring margin, 14th with a +8.9 average rebounding margin, 17th with 10.7 turnovers per game and 18th with a 1.42 assist-to-turnover ratio.

Lake Forest College (18-10), making its first trip to the Division III postseason, shot 40.9 percent (27-66) from the floor, 23.1 percent (3-13) from 3-point range and 55.6 percent (5-9) at the foul line. The Foresters owned advantages of 5-2 in blocks and 7-13 in turnovers.

The Foresters, who were averaging 84.4 points per game, went into the contest ranked seventh nationally in both field goal (.508) and 3-point (.410) percentages.

Sean Espinosa led Lake Forest College with 22 points on 10-for-17 shooting from the floor.

Danny Sotos contributed 13 points and three blocks for the Foresters while Aram Arslanian had 10 points.

UW-Oshkosh opened the game with a dunk from Wittchow just 10 seconds in and reclaimed the lead for good at 6-4 following a jumper by Flynn at the 17:54 mark of the first half.

The Titans stretched their lead to 21-10 on a layup by Wilman with 14:35 remaining in the first period despite Lake Forest College connecting on five of its first 12 field goal attempts. An Eric Peterson layup gave the Titans a 31-20 advantage with 2:23 to go in the first half, but the Foresters cut their deficit to 33-26 at intermission.

Fravert soared for a dunk to increase UW-Oshkosh's lead to 42-28 with 18:16 left before a Boots 3-pointer extended the advantage to 49-33 at the 15:29 mark. Lake Forest College pulled within 62-48 with 9:16 to go, but a pair of Fravert 3-pointers upped the Titan lead to 68-48 with just under eight minutes to play.

The Titans built their largest lead of 28 points at 84-56 following a 3-pointer from Wittchow with 2:18 remaining.

UW-Oshkosh and Lake Forest College were meeting for the first time since the Foresters slipped past the Titans by a 35-30 score Feb. 25, 1929.

The Titans, the reigning Division III runners-up, are making their program-record fourth straight appearance in the NCAA postseason. UW-Oshkosh claimed NCAA regional titles in 2002, 2003 and 2018.

NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship • Website

2019 NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship Interactive Bracket