Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Independent Student Newspaper of UW Oshkosh Campuses

The Advance-Titan

Men’s basketball beats Illinois Tech in season opener

Morgan Feltz / Advance-Titan — UWO’s Will Mahoney drives to the basket in Oshkosh’s 88-58 win over Illinois Tech at the Kolf Sports Center.

Senior guard Will Mahoney tied a career-high with 25 points as the UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team took down the Illinois Institute of Technology 88-58 at the Titan’s home opener Nov. 8 at Kolf Sports Center.

UWO head coach Matt Lewis said he thought the team played really well together for the first game of the season.

“They really shared the ball and did some great things while defending well on the other end,” Lewis said. “Illinois Tech is going to have some serious success this year. They’ve got some guys that look like really high end Division III players.”

UWO’s 30-point victory was its largest for a home opener since the 2002-03 season when Oshkosh defeated St. Norbert College 94-53.

Lewis said he was surprised UWO won the game by such a large margin.

“I didn’t think we were going to win by 30 points,” Lewis said. “Illinois Tech is a good team. They had some good size and talented players but I think our guys just did some really good things possession by possession in the second half and we got a fun win to start the year.”

The only other double-digit scorer for the Titans, ranked No. 25 in the nation by, was forward Jonah Rindfleisch, who scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for his first career double-double. UWO guard Carter Thomas scored eight points and had eight boards while both Joseph Adamson and Reed Seckar added eight points off the bench.

As a team, the Titans shot 43.4% from the floor and 32.1% from behind the arc while turning the ball over just eight times. Defensively, Oshkosh out rebounded the Scarlet Hawks 49-40 and controlled the offensive glass 13-8.

Illinois Tech, who shot just 36.4% from the field and 13.6% from 3-point range, was led by forward Garrison Carter who scored 14 points and grabbed three rebounds. Guard Joshua Joiner was the only other player in double figures, tallying 11 points and three assists.

Illinois Tech jumped out to a 6-0 lead to begin the first half, but a Mahoney layup and a Quinn Thomas 3-pointer cut the Scarlet Hawk advantage to two points midway through the period. UWO’s Jay Dalton gave the Titans their first lead of the night when he was fouled and converted on a 3-point play with 12 minutes remaining in the half.

UWO held onto a one-point lead until Illinois Tech’s Andrew Veon converted on a jumper to put the Scarlet Hawks ahead 27-26. Mahoney was able to put the Titans back in front with a layup a few minutes later and UWO was able to hang onto a 42-39 lead heading into halftime.

Lewis said he really liked how the team bounced back from the rough start.

“Illinois Tech threw a lot at us for the first five or six minutes of the first half,” he said. “We kind of responded with a solid first half and then we really came out of the halftime break and adjusted and made things much more difficult on the defensive end.”

The Scarlet Hawks cut the Titan advantage to two points early in the second half, but UWO embarked on a 15-0 run to build a double-digit lead with 12 minutes to go in the contest. Illinois Tech came within 14 points of the Titans with eight minutes to play, but a Mahoney layup jump started a 20-2 run for UWO that saw Oshkosh open up a 30-point advantage.

The Titans will take on La Roche University (Pennsylvania) Nov. 17 in Springfield, Ohio, for the Great Lakes Invitational starting at noon.

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