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Bluejays Spoil Titans' Home Opener

Will Mahoney scored a career-high 25 points, including five 3-point baskets, against the Bluejays.
Will Mahoney scored a career-high 25 points, including five 3-point baskets, against the Bluejays.

Jake Rhode scored 33 points and Derek Dotlich 26 as Elmhurst College (Ill.) held off the defending NCAA Division III champion UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team for a 97-92 victory Saturday (Nov. 23) in Kolf Sports Center.

Elmhurst College (3-0) remained unbeaten on the season by shooting 55 percent (33-60) from the field, 43.5 percent (10-23) from 3-point range and 84 percent (21-25) at the free throw line. The Bluejays shot 58.6 percent (17-29) from the floor during the first period en route to building a 43-33 lead at halftime. Elmhurst College never trailed UW-Oshkosh (2-2) after racing out to leads of 5-0, 10-3 and 22-5.

UW-Oshkosh pulled within three points at 61-58 with 12 minutes remaining in the second half, at 88-85 with 52 seconds left and again at 90-87 with 31 ticks to go, but Rhode twice drained a pair of free throws for Bluejay advantages of 90-85 and 92-87.

Adam Fravert made a 3-pointer that cut the Titans' deficit to 92-90 with 19 seconds left. However, Dotlich made two free throws three seconds later, and UW-Oshkosh committed a turnover on its next possession.

UW-Oshkosh, ranked second in the country by D3hoops.com, also lost a 64-57 decision at Carthage College on Tuesday (Nov. 19) for its first of two losses to an opponent from the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin. The Titans opened the 2019-20 season with a pair of road wins at nationally ranked CCIW foes, defeating 17th-ranked Augustana College (Ill.), 74-67, Nov. 9 and third-ranked North Central College (Ill.) by a 76-66 score Nov. 12.

Rhode shot 11 of 17 from the field and 8 of 9 at the free throw line. Dotlich connected on each of his eight free throws and shot 7-for-16 from the floor.

Elmhurst College had four double-digit scorers, including starters Lavon Thomas with 14 points and Jay Militello with 10. Militello grabbed a team-leading eight rebounds.

UW-Oshkosh shot 42.3 percent (30-71) from the field, 31.6 percent (12-38) from 3-point range and 66.7 percent (20-30) from the foul line. The Titans owned advantages of 38-36 in rebounds, 16-9 in assists, 13-18 in turnovers, 6-4 in steals and 2-0 in blocks.

Will Mahoney led UW-Oshkosh with a career-high 25 points in 23 minutes off the bench. He went 9-for-14 from the floor, including 5 of 10 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Fravert added 17 points to go along with a team-best eight rebounds, six assists and two blocks. Jack Flynn chipped in 16 points and seven rebounds for the Titans, who also received 11 points from Eric Peterson and eight points from reserve David Vlotho.

Elmhurst College's 22-5 lead during the opening six minutes was fueled by 15 points from Dotlich and five from Rhode.

Flynn pulled down an offensive rebound and scored in the lane to cut UW-Oshkosh's deficit to 61-58 with 12 minutes left, but Rhode scored the next four points to extend the Elmhurst College lead back to 65-58 at the 11:14 mark.

Fravert's 3-pointer with 1:45 to go pulled the Titans within 86-82 before Peterson drove for a layup that cut the Bluejays' lead to 88-84 with 52 seconds remaining.

UW-Oshkosh hosts Edgewood College on Tuesday (Nov. 26) in Kolf Sports Center.