Titans whoop Pointers

Jonathon Samp, Staff Writer

The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team had another successful week on the hardwood last week winning both of their games against UW-Stevens Point in dominating fashion.

April Lee / Advance-Titan
After UWO swept UWSP, they jumped up to 13th in the NCAA Division III by D3hoops.com. Sophomore forward Levi Borchert was then named to the five-member D3hoops.com Men’s Basketball Team of the Week after averaging 18 points and 13 rebounds in the two-game sweep against UWSP.

The Titans beat UWSP 76-62 on Feb. 17 in Stevens Point and then came home and won 86-66 on Feb. 19. In Wednesday’s game, senior guard Eddie Muench led the charge with 23 points, but sophomore Levi Borchert was also in the mix as he tallied on 16.

Borchert led the way in the scoring column on Feb. 19 as he put up 20 points, but scoring was spread across the board for the Titans as sophomore guard Will Mahoney had 17, junior guard Eric Peterson contributed 15, junior guard Hunter Plamann put up 13 and Muench added 11.

Borchert scored in numerous ways, shooting 9-for-12 from the floor and also going 1-1 from 3 point land in the win.
“I’ve been working to expand my range to the 3-point line on the offensive end, and on the defensive end just overall becoming a better defender because with our somewhat smaller team this year, my defensive role is slightly different,” Borchert said. “Beyond that I’m always trying to improve all aspects of my game.”

Mahoney hopes to use this season to improve his strength for next season.
“My last year as a freshman I was about 173lbs and now I’m hovering around 190lbs and still trying to gain weight,” Mahoney said. “All that helps with defending and rebounding, so that’s the skill I am working in this season to prepare for next season.”

Both games scheduled for this week against UW-Eau Claire have been cancelled this week due to a positive COVID-19 test on the UWEC team, meaning the Titans will head right into the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) playoffs.

The Titans have been preparing for the playoffs, which will begin on March 1.

“We’re preparing for the WIAC playoff just like we always do by going all out in practice everyday, staying focused in film and going to workouts,” Mahoney said. “It is a little more meaningful this year because we know we don’t have a NCAA tournament.”

The Titans were not able to play against every team this regular season due to COVID-19 causing the WIAC to split into the East and West Divisions. This means that the Titans could potentially face a team they haven’t seen yet.
The team considers everyone a threat in the WIAC playoffs because they haven’t played all of them in the regular season.

“I know we aren’t going to get a chance to play every team in the WIAC, but just based off returning talent from every team and based off the teams we already played, I think every team can do damage,” Borchert said. “I don’t think there is just one team that we need to focus on; we have to be prepared for any team on any given night.”

Head coach Matt Lewis said. “The WIAC is incredibly competitive from top to bottom. The tournament will be a challenge and we look forward to competing in it.” The Titans get a week off from game play, but will head right into the WIAC playoffs starting next week Monday with the quarterfinal game.

Coach Lewis is thankful to have team-oriented leaders on the team heading into the playoffs. “We are fortunate to have a roster full of selfless, great teammates,” Lewis said. “Each guy has sacrificed an incredible amount this year to keep us on the court. Heading into the WIAC Tournament, our goal is to play physical, tough basketball and enjoy the week as much as possible.”

The Titans will look to repeat as WIAC champions for the second year in a row. Quarterfinal games will be played on March 1, semifinal games on March 3 and the WIAC Championship game will be played on March 5.