By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, ranked #4 in the D3hoops.com Men's Top 25 Poll, connected on 10 of 24 three-point shots to defeat Willamette University, 77-57, at Cone Field House on Thursday, Dec. 21. UWO remained undefeated on the season at 8-0, while the Bearcats dropped to 5-4 overall.
Charlie Noone recorded a game-high 20 points for the Titans, as he sank 5 of 12 three-pointers. He also earned three steals. Adam Fravert added 17 points and six rebounds for UWO. Fravert was 7 of 11 from the field, and converted his only 3-point attempt.
Jack Flynn and David Vlotho tacked on eight points apiece. Flynn led UWO with eight rebounds. Ben Boots provided a game-high eight assists to go along with seven points, six rebounds and three steals.
For the Bearcats, Nico Troplent (Sr., W, Guadaloupe, France/Cathedral HS) scored 17 points and was 6 of 11 on field goals. He registered two steals, one assist and one block shot. Jordan Jenkins (Jr., F, Placentia, CA/Valencia HS) hit the nets for 12 points on 5 of 12 field goals. He latched onto eight boards to match Flynn of UWO for game-high rebounding honors. Casey Thornton (Sr., W, Santa Rosa, CA/Maria Carrillo HS) produced nine points for Willamette, while Trent Callan (Jr., G, Portland, OR/Lincoln HS) earned eight points and three rebounds.
"I loved the tenacity our kids fought with today," Willamette Head Coach Kip Ioane said. "I'm always disappointed in a loss, but you've got to give Oshkosh a ton of credit. They absolutely earned that win. We will learn a lot from the film and be better prepared for Northwest Conference play because of it."
UW-Oshkosh scored the first seven points of the game to start an 11-1 run that ended on a layup by Vlotho with 16:38 to go in the half. Brendon McCullough (Sr., G, San Antonio, TX/Home Schooled) hit a 3-point shot for Willamette's opening field goal at the 14:43 mark to cut the margin to 11-4.
Two more three-pointers kept WU close over the next few minutes. Jameson Willems (Jr./So., F, Billings, MT/Skyview HS) sank a 3-pointer with 13:36 remaining to reduce UWO's advantage to 13-7. A 3-pointer by Jenkins with 10:30 left pulled WU within 17-10.
Neither team scored for nearly three minutes until Connor Duax made a jumper with 7:35 on the clock to give UW-Oshkosh a 19-10 edge. Each team added five points before Willamette went on a 7-0 run that sliced the Titans' lead to 24-22.
The run opened when Troplent connected on a jumper with 5:45 left in the half. Troplent tacked on two free throws with 5:05 to go, and then Troplent put in a layup 10 seconds later. Jenkins finished the offensive surge on a free throw with 4:01 remaining.
"Nico played a great game against a tough defense, and Jordan found ways to be effective against a scheme designed to stop him," Ioane commented.
Noone answered by sinking a 3-pointer for UW-0shkosh with 3:20 on the clock. Troplent tacked on a layup for WU with 2:33 left to reduce UWO's lead to 27-24. The Titans ended the half with a 10-2 run for a 37-26 advantage at the break.
Fravert began the second half with a dunk for UWO, but Willamette tallied the next seven points on a layup by Jenkins, a 3-pointer from McCullough, and a jumper by Callan. After Callan's basket with 17:58 left, the Bearcats trailed by just six points, 39-33. UWO countered with a 7-0 run of its own, as the Titans took a 46-33 advantage on two free throws by Fravert at the 16:05 mark.
UW-Oshkosh's lead swung between nine and 14 points over the next seven minutes, until a dunk by Vlotho gave the Titans a 59-44 margin with 9:02 remaining. WU trailed 59-48 following two free throws by Callan with 8:21 left, and the Bearcats were within 69-57 when Callan scored on a layup with 4:06 to go. The Titans went on an 8-0 run to conclude the game.
The Bearcats finished 20 of 53 on field goals (37.7%), including a solid 6 for 15 from 3-point range (40.0%). Willamette excelled at the free throw line, where the Bearcats converted 11 of 13 attempts (84.6%).
Meanwhile, the Titans used their 10 of 24 accuracy on 3-pointers (41.7%) to score 12 more points than WU on shots behind the arc. UWO was 28 of 60 overall on field goals (46.7%). The Titans sank 11 of 17 free throws (64.7%). UW-Oshkosh earned a 42-29 rebounding edge.
Willamette will host Trinity University (Texas) on Friday, Dec. 29 at Cone Field House. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PST).