Adam Fravert had 22 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks to lead UW-Oshkosh to an 82-75 victory over UW-Whitewater in a clash of nationally ranked men's basketball teams Wednesday (Jan. 16) in Whitewater.
UW-Oshkosh (15-1, 5-0 WIAC), ranked fifth in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com, scored the first nine points of the game and took the lead for good at 16-15 with 12:15 remaining in the first half. After trailing by as many as 12 points during the second half, 23rd-ranked UW-Whitewater (12-4, 1-4 WIAC) cut its deficit to one on three occasions over the final six minutes.
Clinging to a 73-72 edge with 82 seconds to play, UW-Oshkosh got a fadeaway jumper from Brett Wittchow to fall with 57 ticks left. UW-Oshkosh's Jack Flynn rebounded a missed layup by the Warhawks' Melvin Brown and drained a pair of free throws for a 77-72 Titan lead with 43 seconds to go.
Dalton Menke hit a 3-pointer three seconds later to pull UW-Whitewater within 77-75, but the Warhawks were held scoreless the rest of the way. UW-Oshkosh sealed the win by shooting 5-for-6 at the free throw line during the final 36 seconds as Ben Boots hit each of his four free throw attempts in the last 24 seconds.
UW-Oshkosh extended its program-best winning streak to 14 consecutive games. The Titans, who remain tied atop the conference standings with UW-La Crosse (12-4, 5-0 WIAC), are 5-0 in league play for the first time since the 1977-78 campaign. UW-Oshkosh, which has won four of its last five meetings with UW-Whitewater, is off to the program's best overall start since opening the 1995-96 season with a 16-1 record.
Fravert notched his 11th career double-double by shooting 9-for-15 from the field and matching his season-high for rebounds. His five blocks are a career high and extend his WIAC-leading season total to 30. Fravert, who paced the Titans in scoring for a fourth time this season, recorded his 37th career double-digit scoring effort.
Jack Flynn added 19 points and eight rebounds for the Titans, who also received 17 points and a team-leading two assists from Wittchow, and 15 points and six rebounds from Boots. Flynn has now scored at least 10 points in 19 straight games dating back to last season.
UW-Oshkosh secured the win in a matchup of the WIAC's highest scoring teams by shooting 43.3 percent (26-60) from the field, 27.3 percent (6-22) from 3-point range and 82.8 percent (24-29) at the free throw line. The Titans' 24 made free throws and 29 attempts were season highs.
The Titans held advantages of 38-35 in rebounds, 7-9 in turnovers and 8-2 in blocks. UW-Oshkosh, which has out-rebounded each of its last 18 opponents, went into the game ranked fourth nationally with a +11.9 average rebounding margin, sixth with a +20.5 average scoring margin and 10th with a 1.58 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Titans were also leading the WIAC in scoring (86.3), field goal percentage defense (.411) and per-game assists (17.3) and blocks (3.9).
UW-Whitewater, the top shooting team in the WIAC, was held to 38.2 percent (26-68) from the floor, 42.1 percent (8-19) from beyond the 3-point arc and 83.3 percent (15-18) from the foul line.
The Warhawks, the WIAC's second highest scoring team at 83 points per game, entered the night pacing the league in field goal percentage (.496), free throws made (235) and attempted (328), and turnovers forced per game (15.7). UW-Whitewater was limited to its second lowest field goal percentage and turnovers gained this season.
UW-Whitewater's Melvin Brown led all players with 27 points in 26 minutes off the bench. He shot 8-for-19 from the field and 10-for-12 at the free throw line while tying for the team lead with seven rebounds.
Andre Brown had 18 points and seven rebounds for the Warhawks while Menke contributed 11 points. UW-Whitewater's David Sachs, the conference leader with 5.3 assists per game, dished out a game-high five assists against the Titans.
The Titans' 9-0 scoring run to begin the game began with back-to-back layups from Flynn and Connor Duax and culminated on a 3-pointer by Fravert. UW-Whitewater missed its first six field goal attempts until Menke drilled a 3-pointer that cut the Warhawk deficit to 9-3 at the 16:51 mark of the first half.
UW-Whitewater took its first and only lead behind a string of nine unanswered points, including four from Melvin Brown. Andre Brown gave the Warhawks a 13-11 edge before Melvin Brown hit a pair of free throws to extend their lead to 15-11.
UW-Oshkosh then responded with seven straight points of its own to reclaim the lead for good. Fravert sparked the run with a layup, and Flynn scored five points in a row to provide the Titans with an 18-15 advantage they would not relinquish.
Eric Peterson made a 3-pointer for a 39-33 UW-Oshkosh lead with 1:40 remaining in the first half, but Melvin Brown accounted for each of the final three points of the period as UW-Whitewater trailed, 39-36, at intermission.
UW-Oshkosh scored the first seven points of the second half as Flynn hit a pair of free throws and scored a basket in the paint ahead of a 3-pointer by Boots that upped the Titan lead to 46-36 with 18:50 left.
A jumper from Wittchow gave the Titans their largest lead of 12 points at 50-38 with 15:48 to go. Trailing 67-58 with 7:26 left, UW-Whitewater tallied 10 of the next 12 points to pull within 69-68 following a 3-pointer by Andre Brown at the 5:14 mark. The Warhawks got within one point at 71-70 after two free throws by Melvin Brown with 2:32 to go and again at 73-72 on a layup from Malik Clements with 1:22 remaining.
UW-Oshkosh returns home to face conference co-leader UW-La Crosse on Saturday (Jan. 19) in Kolf Sports Center.