The Benedictine Men’s Basketball team defeated #21 University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (UW-Oshkosh) Saturday Night at the Rice Center. The victory snapped a two game slide for the Eagles and ended a three game stretch where the Eagles played ranked opponents.
“Defensively our best effort bar none,” Head Coach Keith Bunkenburg said, “Our kids were phenomenal…overall our best effort on defense.”
The match saw the Eagles lead for most of the contest. After UW-Oshkosh opened the game with an early 8-5 lead five minutes into the game, the Eagles began to take over. Senior Guard Michael Blaszczyk hit a layup to open a 13-0 run for the Eagles. A three pointer by Senior Forward Shawn Soelter gave the Eagles the lead 10-8 with 13:44 left in the half. Freshman Forward Kenny Bogus finished off the run with a three of his own to give the Eagles an 18-8 lead with just over ten minutes left in the half.
UW-Oshkosh fought hard to get back into the game twice bringing the game within five points in the half, however the Eagles went on a 7-0 run to return the lead to double-digits. Senior Guard Tahron Harvey finished the run converting a jump shot with 3:31 left in the half to give the Eagles the 33-21 lead. UW-Oshkosh finished the half with a run of their own, scoring the final five points and giving the Eagles the 33-26 lead headed into the break.
The Eagles were strong in the second half, never trailing throughout the half. UW-Oshkosh battled twice pushing the Eagles lead to just two points, but the Eagles answered every run with a run of their own including a 7-0 run in the middle of the half. When UW-Oshkosh pulled within five points, the Eagles opened a 9-0 run to take a firm grip on the lead with 6:36 left in the game. The Eagles kept the game out of reach for the rest of the game as UW-Oshkosh never got within eleven points during the rest of the half giving the Eagles the 68-55 win.
“I know all five of us can score on any given night,” Blaszczyk said, “I was just fortunate to be hot tonight and we also had huge contributions off the bench tonight from Zach and Brayden so any given night anyone can score.”
The Eagles next game will be at home against Rockford Wednesday night at the Rice Center. The game will mark the beginning of NACC conference play for the Eagles.