Titans fall to Mount Union in Elite Eight


Jacob Link / Advance-Titan — UWO’s Levi Borchert dribbles the ball against Fontbonne University in the NCAA tournament March 3.

Jacob Link, Co-Sports Editor

The UW Oshkosh men’s basketball team fell to Mount Union 78-67 in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament March 11 in Alliance, Ohio, in the Titans’ third Elite Eight appearance in school history.

In his final game as a Titan, senior forward Levi Borchert finished with a double-double, scoring 19 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Guard Cole Booth scored 14 points in the game while guard Hunter Plamann finished with 11 points. UWO shot just 37% from the floor, going 7-for-26 from behind the arc and only converting on 56% of its free throws.

For Mount Union, guard Christian Parker scored a game-high 26 points and grabbed 11 boards off the bench. Jefferey Mansfield finished with 14 points while Collen Gurley had 12 points in the contest for the Purple Raiders. Mount Union made just one more 3-pointer than UWO, but the Purple Raiders shot 42% from the floor and 62% from the charity stripe.

The two teams traded baskets to begin the game until Mount Union went on a 9-4 run midway through the first half behind a pair of jump shots from Mansfield. The Purple Raiders maintained at least a five-point lead until a jumper from Booth cut the Mount Union advantage to one point with eight minutes to play in the period. The Purple Raiders responded with a 3-pointer from Poole and Mount Union went on a 7-1 run to take a 25-18 lead. Mount Union outscored the Titans 10-5 in the final minute to lead 35-26 going into halftime.

Parker hit a 3-pointer at the start of the second half and the Purple Raiders took an 11-point lead. UWO could not get going offensively after halftime, and Mount Union maintained at least an eight-point advantage for the majority of the second half. With under six minutes to play, Booth hit a 3-pointer which sparked a 12-3 run for the Titans, who cut the Purple Raider lead to four points. That would be the closest UWO came to the Purple Raiders, who quickly went on a 7-2 run with under two minutes to play to build a comfortable lead. Mount Union cruised to an 11 point victory, advancing to its first Final Four in school history.

The Titans end their season with a 24-7 record, finishing as Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champions but failing to make the program’s third appearance in the Final Four of the NCAA tournament.