The No. 23 ranked University of Wisconsin-Whitewater withstood an early run and pushed all the way to its final possession Wednesday night, but was outlasted 82-75 by No. 5 UW-Oshkosh in a Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference showdown at Kachel Gymnasium.
Senior forward Melvin Brown posted a season-high 27 points and added seven rebounds to lead the Warhawks (12-4 overall, 1-4 WIAC), who were within one point in the final minute of the contest before the Titans hit 7-of-8 from the free-throw line over the final 43 seconds of regulation.
Senior guard Andre Brown collected 18 points, seven rebounds and two steals, and became the program’s 29th player to reach 1,000 career points with his jumper in the lane midway through the first half.
UW-Oshkosh (15-1, 5-0) made 24-of-29 from the free-throw line compared to 15-of-18, including 10-of-10 in the second half, for UW-Whitewater.
The Titans started the first half on a 9-0 run through the first two minutes. The Warhawks quickly responded with a 15-2 run of their own, highlighted by 3-pointers from senior guards Dalton Menke and Malik Clements, to take a 15-11 lead with 14:10 on the clock.
From there, UW-Oshkosh scored 12 of the next 14 points to grab a 23-17 advantage midway through the period.
UW-Whitewater cut it to two points by the 7:42 mark before the Titans expanded their lead to 32-25 three minutes later.
Brown Jr. brought the Warhawks to within one possession just before halftime.
The Titans sprinted out of halftime with seven straight points to take a 46-36 advantage with 18:50 on the clock. They took their largest lead of the game at 50-38 with 15:48 left before UW-Whitewater began to chip away.
Brown cut the UW-Oshkosh lead to five with 8:54 to go, and the Warhawks were within one possession at 67-64 following a pair of free throws by Brown Jr. with 5:40 remaining.
Brown converted a 3-pointer 26 seconds later to bring UW-Whitewater within one, and it remained a one-possession game until the final minute.
Menke hit a 3-pointer to bring the Warhawks within 77-75 at the 40-second mark, but UW-Whitewater came up empty on its final three possessions as UW-Oshkosh hit its free throws.