Men earn 45-point victory at home

Morgan Van Lanen

The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team defeated Maranatha Baptist University on Dec. 8 at the Kolf Sports Center as 52 of its 89 points came from reserves. Tuesday’s game was only the second time in program history that UWO and Maranatha Baptist University played one another. The first happened in the 2013-14 season when the Titans beat the Sabercats 70-57. Head Coach Pat Juckem said getting a win at home is always important for a team. “I think that anytime you play at home – it’s your home turf – you need to come out and establish a dominance,” Juckem said. “The recipe to win a conference championship is that you really have to take care of all the business at home. It really starts with making your home court a tough place to play. I thought we did a pretty good job of that on Tuesday night.” A minute into the game, the Titans and the Sabercats were tied at 2-2. The Titans (4-2) then scored nine consecutive baskets to take an 11-2 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Up 22-7 with 10:30 remaining in the first half, UWO’s junior guard Kyle Bolger started a 22 consecutive-point run with a three-point basket. The Sabercats were scoreless during the nearly-eight minute series, as they missed eleven field goals and had five turnovers. During the first half of play, Maranatha shot 27.3 percent from the field. Juckem said his defense put up a good performance against the Sabercats, but is still a work-in-progress. “The defensive side is something we take a lot of pride in,” Juckem said. “Early on in the season, our play on that side was not up to our standards. We are taking some steps; we still had plenty of breakdowns last night and mistakes that we have to clean up as the competition level takes a pretty big jump here in the next several games. Our guys are focused on improving in that area, and we will continue to point out where the mistakes are and address those in practice.” Going into the second half, the Titans were ahead 49-13. They led by at least 40 points for the last 19:31 minutes of the match. With just 41 seconds left of the game, UWO had its largest lead of the game when freshman forward Sam Johnson made a three-pointer to put his team up 89-39. Overall, the Titans had 44 rebounds and scored a total of 37 points from turnovers. For second-chance points, Maranatha Baptist University had just 4 while UW Oshkosh had 18. Sophomore guard Charlie Noone led all scorers with 12 points while knocking down 3 three-pointers. Junior A.J. Mueller led the Titans with 5 rebounds and senior Alex Olson recorded 5 assists. A total of 18 players entered the game for the Titans including eight freshman. Noone said they are focusing on perfecting the basics in practice. “We have a mentality of getting better each day at practice,” Noone said The Titans, who have won four straight-contests, are entering a seven-straight road game stretch that starts on Saturday, Dec. 12 at Carthage College. According to junior forward Sean Dwyer, the most important thing to do is stay positive no matter what. “We will go into it with the same mindset we always have,” Dwyer said. “Whether it’s home or on the road, we don’t change what we do. But, the games have to be won on the defensive end of the floor. As Coach Juckem always says, ‘Defense travels well.’”