Titans Bitten By Defending National Champion Pointers

More news about: UW-Oshkosh

Dan Tillema's season-high 24 points allowed defending NCAA Division III champion UW-Stevens Point to lead the entire contest during a 74-70 victory over the UW-Oshkosh men's basketball team on Saturday (Jan. 22) in Kolf Sports Center.

The Pointers (15-3/7-2 WIAC), ranked 12th by D3hoops.com, held a 65-54 advantage with 4:37 to go. UW-Oshkosh (8-9/3-6 WIAC) then posted a 13-5 scoring run to force an exciting finish. Following a three-ball by T.J. Kellner (So. • Sheboygan), Greg Schrimpf (Jr. • Manitowoc) just missed a potential game-tying triple in the closing 20 seconds.

Tillema put his final stamp on the outcome with a foul shot with 13 seconds left. He also grabbed four steals for UW-Stevens Point, which used 17 points from Jerrel Harris and 11 points and nine boards by Louis Hurd.

Tillema was the standout early, helping the Pointers pull away from a 4-4 tie. He booked two lay-ups, converting one into a three-point play, to go ahead, 15-7. Tillema then buried a jumper from downtown to make it 21-13 with 6:29 on the clock.

After another Tillema triple, the lead stood at 11 points (28-17). UW-Oshkosh came back with Cory Wittwer's (Sr. • Fall Creek) deep jumper and two Brian Washington (So. • Waukesha) free throws. A pair of connections at the foul line from Schrimpf pulled the Titans within 32-24 at the break.

UW-Stevens Point went inside-out to expand its cushion early in the second frame. Three different players hit a basket in the lane, while Hurd drained a three-pointer to help put the Pointers up, 41-26.

Washington allowed the Titans to creep closer by knocking down a pair of lay-ups. After Wittwer drove the lane and converted for two points, the deficit was 48-40. Schrimpf dialed up a long distance jumper moments later to pull within 52-44 at the 10:59 mark.

The two teams traded free throws during the middle of the half as the Pointers led, 58-47, with 8:07 remaining. Kellner and Schrimpf each chipped in three points to pull within seven, but Hurd sank a jumper at the 4:54 mark to make it 65-54.

UW-Oshkosh had four players in double figures after its leading scorer tallied eight points during the Jan. 5 meeting. John Flanigan (Jr. • Oshkosh) compiled 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Titans also received 12 points from Schrimpf, 11 from Kellner and 11 points and 11 rebounds by Washington.

The Pointers outshot the Titans, 49 percent to 46 percent. UW-Oshkosh took the other categories, including three-point accuracy (39 percent-30 percent), free throw efficiency (72 percent-61 percent) and rebounding 34-33.

The Titans meet up with UW-Eau Claire in Kolf Sports Center on Wednesday (Jan. 26).