Men eye up conference run

Morgan Van Lanen

After winning four straight games, the UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team fell to UW Whitewater 61-70 on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at Whitewater. Senior guard Alex Olson led the Titans with 11 points. He shot four of nine from the field and had six rebounds. A lay up by Olson with 11:48 remaining gave the Titans the lead 12-11. A three-pointer by freshman guard Brett Wittchow pulled the Titans within seven before half, making the score 25-32. The Tians were within three with 13:25 left of the game, however, that is the closest they got to taking the lead before giving up seven more points in just under six minutes. With 16 seconds remaining, a field goal from freshman guard Ben Boots made the score 61-66. However, a missed three-pointer by Boots and a foul by Olson in the final seconds wrapped up the game. Junior forward AJ Mueller led the Titans with 13 points and seven rebounds as the men beat UW-La Crosse 62-60 on Saturday, Feb. 13 on the road. Head coach Pat Juckem said Saturday’s game was an important one because winning kept his team in the race to win the conference championship. “Our guys are so excited,” Juckem said. “They realize that it is mid-February, and the goal is to play meaningful games in February. It means that you’re in the hunt; you’re in the running. And we are. And then the goal is to take that and hopefully play into March, which means you’re playing in the post-season, you’re playing in the NCAA.” Noone created a 11-9 lead with 12:23 remaining in the first half. With two minutes to go until halftime, Mueller made a lay up to put UWO back on top 24-22, a lead that the men would hold until 3:19 left in the second period. UW Oshkosh entered the second half ahead 28-23. With just over five minutes to go, the Eagles hit a three-pointer to come within two points. UWLC tied the score at 51 with 3:55 to go. There were eight lead changes in the final 3:19 of the game. The first came when the Eagles hit a three-pointer, giving them their first lead since the first half. With just 28 seconds remaining, junior forward Max Schebel made a scoop shot that gave the Titans a 62-60 lead to win the game. Mueller said, the loud environment and what was on the line in Saturday’s game helped his team get the win. “Our team has always been a close group of guys, so in tight games like that, we come together and play for one another,” Mueller said. 38 of the Titans’ 62 points came from reserves in Saturday’s game, including six from Wittchow. Wittchow said having a deep bench is one of the reasons his team has been successful this season. “Our depth is definitely a strong suit on our team,” Wittchow said. “We’ve got guys that can go off on any given night, and that makes us a pretty hard team to match up with.” UWO plays its final game of the season on Saturday, Feb. 20 against UW-River Falls at the Kolf Center at 7:00 p.m.