UWO men start conference season strong


Morgan Feltz / Advance-Titan — Cole Booth drives to the basket in UWO’s 92-69 win against UW-Stout on Dec. 3 at the Kolf Sports Center.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team opened the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) season with a 92-69 blowout win against UW-Stout and a spectacular 75-66 comeback win against UW-Platteville in overtime.

UWO Guard Hunter Plamann said the Titans worked together as a team and all trusted each other to make plays.

I am impressed by our team’s ability to face adversity and respond well,” he said. “If things are not going our way, we stay focused on what we can control and do our best with what we can do.”

Saturday, the Titans (7-2, 2-0 WIAC) fell down early 7-0 to the Blue Devils (4-4, 1-1 WIAC) but went on a 19-9 run to take the lead and never looked back. UWS would tie the game at 21 with 11 minutes to go in the first half before the Titans opened up a 10-point lead with just under eight minutes to play.

Borchert said that against Stout, the Titans did a great job of balancing good shot selection with playing fast.

We were able to get into actions that got us quality looks and that was a big factor in our shooting performance,” he said. “We did our best to limit Stout’s pace, which is one of the things they do very well.”

UWO, who shot 53% from the floor in the first 20 minutes, maintained a double-digit lead for most of the first period as Oshkosh went into the locker room leading 47-39.

The Titans caught fire after halftime, going on a 20-2 run to start the second half behind six points from Plamann and five points from forward Levi Borchert. With 11:37 to go in the game, Plamann added two free throws to increase the UWO lead to 27 points, the largest lead of the night, as Oshkosh went on to close out the victory 92-69.

All five starters for the Titans scored over 10 points, with Borchert leading the way with 19 points and 14 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season. Guard Eric Peterson scored 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, going 8-10 from the free-throw line. Plamann finished with 15 points as guard Cole Booth added another 14 points.

UWO fell down double-digits against UWP on Nov. 30, but the Titans clawed their way back to force overtime.

With just under 10 minutes to go in the second half, UWO found themselves down 15 points, but ended the period on a 15-5 run that was capped off by a Jonah Rindfleisch layup to tie the game at 59.

Plamann said the team showed a lot of resilience and didn’t give up when things got tough

At halftime we talked about a couple things we wanted to change and then in the second half, we made adjustments and kept looking forward trying to take the game one play at a time,” he said. “We used our momentum from the run that we were on to end regulation and carried that over into overtime and secure the win.”

10 seconds into overtime, Rindfleisch struck again with a step-back jumper to give the Titans their first lead of the game. After UWP tied the game, Oshkosh went on a 9-2 run to take the lead 70-63 and never looked back.

“In overtime we did our best to carry our momentum from the end of regulation into overtime play,” Borchert said. “We knew how hard we fought to battle back into the game and didn’t want to then lose it in overtime.”

In the first half, Oshkosh shot a disastrous 32% from the field and 18% from three-point land as UWO let the Pioneers end the first half on a 7-0 run, leading 33-24 at the break.

Borchert said that in the first half, UWO let the Pioneers jump out to an early lead, which they sustained late into the second half.

“I think we let them get too comfortable with the shots that they were taking and that gave them some offensive rhythm,” he said. “Going into the locker room at half we knew we had another level we had to get to to win the game. We were able to string some stops together and ultimately win the game.” 

Peterson scored a game-high 23 points for UWO as Borchert added another double-double, scoring 14 points and grabbing 19 rebounds. Booth added 18 points, scoring four of Oshkosh’s five three-pointers, as the Titan bench went a combined 1-9 from the floor, adding just three points.

Borchert, who has scored 976 points with the Titans, will look to score his 1,000th career point as UWO will take on Ripon College (3-4) on Dec. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Doc Weiske Memorial Gymnasium.