UW-Oshkosh advances to title game

More news about: UW-Oshkosh

Adam Fravert, Brett Wittchow, Ben Boots and Jack Flynn combined for 63 points and 29 rebounds as UW-Oshkosh advanced to the final of the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship with a 73-57 victory over Ramapo College (N.J.) on Friday (March 16) at the Salem Civic Center in Salem, Va.

UW-Oshkosh (25-7), ranked 24th in the country by D3hoops.com, moves to the national title game at 5 p.m. (CDT) Saturday (March 17) in Salem against Nebraska Wesleyan University (29-3). The Prairie Wolves qualified for the final with its 90-78 overtime win over Springfield College (Mass.) (22-9).

Fravert recorded his eighth double-double of the season and the second of this NCAA tournament with 21 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. He made 10 of 18 shots from the field, including a pair of second-half dunks that gave the Titans leads of 39-32 and 55-47.

Wittchow scored 18 points, including 11 in the second half, while totaling four rebounds and two assists. He converted 6 of 9 shots from the field, including consecutive 3-point attempts that provided UW-Oshkosh with a 69-54 lead.

Boots reached double-figure scoring for the ninth straight contest by counting 13 points. He made three 3-point shots while grabbing three rebounds and notching a pair of steals. Boots now has 1,170 career points for the 19th-highest total in UW-Oshkosh history.

Flynn tallied 11 points, nine rebounds and three blocked shots to just miss a double-double for the ninth time this season.

UW-Oshkosh also obtained eight points, three rebounds and three assists from Charlie Noone, who now ranks 26th in UW-Oshkosh history with 1,119 career points.

Ramapo College (25-7), which entered the game averaging 76.6 points per game, received 11 points and two assists from Thomas Bonacum The Roadrunners also acquired 11 points and one steal from Patrick Peterson and 10 points, three rebounds and three assists from Josh Ford.

UW-Oshkosh shot 44.4 percent (28-63) from the field, 37 percent (10-27) behind the 3-point line and 70 percent (7-10) from the free throw stripe. The Titans have now gone nine straight games with eight or more 3-point baskets.

Ramapo College converted 33.9 percent (21-62) of its shots from the field and 33.3 percent (5-15) of its attempts from 3-point range. The Roadrunners sank 10 of their 12 (83.3 percent) free throws.

UW-Oshkosh posted advantages in rebounds (45-34), assists (13-8) and blocked shots (3-2). Ramapo College owned the advantage in steals (6-3) and turnovers (8-10).

Ramapo College, a first-time opponent of UW-Oshkosh, scored the game's first six points and built a 9-2 lead with 17:34 left in the first half.

UW-Oshkosh then rattled off 13 straight points, including five by Noone to take 15-9 advantage with 12:06 remaining in the opening period. The Titans took the lead for good at 12-9 on a Noone 3-pointer and held the advantage for the final 34:04 of play.

Ramapo College pulled within two points three times during the last seven minutes of the first half, with the latest deficit being a 29-27 score with 2:58 left. The Titans then reeled off five straight points to take a 34-27 lead to intermission.

In the second half, UW-Oshkosh held a single-digit lead until breaking the game wide open with a string of 13 straight points that gave the Titans a 73-54 advantage with 1:53 remaining. UW-Oshkosh's run of points featured eight by Wittchow and five by Boots.  

UW-Oshkosh's win was also the 200th victory in the coaching career of Titans head coach Pat Juckem. Juckem has a 200-151 record across 13 seasons as a collegiate head coach, including a six-year mark of 95-72 at UW-Oshkosh.

UW-Oshkosh is appearing in its third straight NCAA postseason tournament and eighth overall. The Titans advanced to the semifinal round of the Division III Championship for the first time in school history. UW-Oshkosh previously reached the Final Four in the 1968 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics Tournament, finishing third in Kansas City, Mo.