UWO men struggle at home

Nate Proell

Noone totaled 24 points in the game against the Pointers. All but three of his points came from beyond the three-point arc.
[/media-credit] Noone totaled 24 points in the game against the Pointers. All but three of his points came from beyond the three-point arc.
Guard Charlie Noone looks to move the ball around against UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 1. Noone averages 13.1 PPG.
[/media-credit] Guard Charlie Noone looks to move the ball around against UW-Stevens Point on Feb. 1. Noone averages 13.1 PPG.

The UW Oshkosh basketball team went one for three through the past three games of the 2017 regular season bringing their Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference record to one game above .500 at 6-5 and their overall record to 13-9. The Titans sit in a tie for third place with UW-Eau Claire at 6-5 in conference play.

Oshkosh sits two games behind second place UW-Whitewater (8-3) and four games behind first place UW-River Falls (10-1).

Coming into the home game against the UW-Stevens Point Pointers on Wednesday, Feb. 1, the Titans were riding a two game winning streak, beating the UW-La Crosse Eagles 61-55 and then beating the UW-Eau Claire Bluegolds 79-66.

Despite being in third place in the conference, Titans head coach Pat Juckem said the team has not played to their full potential yet this season.

“We feel like we haven’t played our best basketball,” Juckem said. “We think there’s a whole other level that we can go to yet.”

In the close 68-69 home loss to the Pointers, starting guard Charlie Noone had a career high 24 points making 7-8 3-point shots. Starting guard Ben Boots had the second most points with 10.

Despite the team putting up their second-highest total score of the season, they were not able to come out on top.

The Titans had a fast start and led 11-4 at the 15:52 mark in the first half. Noone put nine points on the board going three for three in 3-point shots with guard Brett Wittchow tacking on two points.

Although the Titans got off to a good start, the Pointers were quick to get back into the game and were only down three points with 7:14 remaining in the first half.

Noone was at 4-5 in 3-point shots with Wittchow adding four points. Forward Max Schebel was at two points, and Kyle Beyak had five.

By the end of the first half, the Pointers were ahead 36-31, scoring only nine of their points from beyond the 3-point line and shooting 57.1% going 16-28 overall.

At the half, the Pointers leading scorer was forward Zack Goedeke with 11 points. The Pointers’ bench was bringing in 14 points while the Titans’ bench was still at five points.

The Pointers were in control for the rest of the game and never let their lead fall to the Titans.

At the 12:44 mark in the second half, the score was 50-43 Pointers lead with Noone going scoreless so far and Boots putting up two of his 10 total points that proved to make a difference later on.

With 00:53 left in the game the Titans were down 69-68. Noone was at 24 points, and Boots was at 10. The Titans’ bench was at 11 points: seven from Beyak and four from Jack Flynn.

The Titans had two opportunities to take the lead, having two 3-point attempts from Boots, who was 2-5 on the night from beyond the arc, but the shots did not go down.
“We were disappointed in the outcome on Wednesday,” Juckem said. “We didn’t defend at all to the level we needed to.”

Despite the close loss to the Pointers, the Titans were able to bring down the WIAC first place UW-River Falls team at the Karges Center 65-60 the following Saturday, Feb. 4.

“We played well that game,” Noone said. “We defended well, and that’s really the key for us. I think we’re jelling at the right time, and it’s always good this time of year to be coming together at the right time.”

The Titans’ leading scorer was Wittchow, who had 18 points. The second-leading scorer was forward Taylor Jansen with 12 points.

In a game where neither team had a lead of more than six and where there were nine lead changes, the Titans were in the game the whole time.

Halfway through the first half, UWO was ahead 26-21. By the end of the first half, the Titans’ lead was extended to 33-28.

At the half, the Titans had six players who had scored thus far, with Wittchow being the leader with nine points and Jansen with seven.

Halfway through the second half, the Titans’ lead was a mere three points at 51-48.

With 4:18 remaining in the game, the score was tied 56-56. After a made layup from AJ Mueller, the Titans retook the lead and never looked back, ending the game 65-60.
On Wednesday, Feb. 8 against the UW-La Crosse Eagles, the Titans got off to a slow start.

The only lead the Titans had the whole game was at the 17:23 mark in the first half, being up on the Eagles 4-6 after a layup from Flynn.

However, a jump shot from Eagles starting forward Ben Meinholz tied the game at six a piece.

At the 15:54 mark in the first half, Eagles starting forward Zach Schradle sank a 3-pointer that put the Eagles up 9-6, and they never looked back.

Having made zero 3-point shots with 7:53 to go in the first half, the Titans were down 19-12.

Despite shooting a mere 14.3 percent from beyond the arc and 30 percent overall at the end of the first half, the Titans were still able to stay within six points of the Eagles, being down 32-26 at the half.

The leading scorer of the first half was Boots with seven points while Noone, who went for a career high 24 points against the Pointers, was scoreless through one half going 0-3.

The team was able to draw 10 fouls that lead to 12 points in the first half.

The Titans were unable to get things going to start the second half, shooting 34 percent with 5:00 remaining in the game.

By the end of regulation, the Titans shot a mere 32.8 percent overall going 21-64.

The leading scorer for the Titans was Boots with 13 points. Noone shot his lowest total of the season with two points going 1-5.

Despite the loss and with just four games left before the WIAC tournament, Wittchow says that the team is in a good position and that they are peaking at the right time.

“We’re just starting to reach our full potential,” Wittchow said. “It feels good that it’s coming into February that this is happening instead of December. Even if we have a few kinks, we have time to figure those out.”

The Titans’ next game is at home on Saturday, Feb. 11 as they play UW-Platteville.