Nebraska Wesleyan beats Wisconsin-Oshkosh for D-III title
SALEM, Va. (AP) — Tournament MVP Cooper Cook scored 16 points, Jack Hiller added 14, including a late 3-pointer that gave Nebraska Wesleyan the lead for good, and the Prairie Wolves beat Wisconsin-Oshkosh 78-72 on Saturday night for their first Division III national championship.
Nebraska Wesleyan (30-3) finished its season with 13 consecutive wins, including a 130-97 win over top-ranked Whitman in the Elite Eight.
Cook and Hiller each hit 4 of 6 from 3-point range as the Prairie Wolves finished 14 of 22 from behind the arc and shot 52 percent overall. UNW concluded the tournament with a record 73 made 3s in six games.
UWO’s Jack Flynn made two free throws before Ben Boots hit back-to-back 3s — the second from well beyond NBA range — to make it 72-all with 2:52 to play. But, after Hiller missed a 3 on the other end, Cook grabbed the offensive rebounds before Nate Schimonitz found Hiller for a 3-pointer from the right wing to put the Prairie Wolves back in front for good. The Titans committed a turnover on each of their next two possessions: a shot-clock violation and, after a tightly-contested fall-away jumper by Schimonitz, a steal by UNW’s Ryan Garver. Garver’s free throw with 4.4 to play capped the scoring.
Schimonitz finished with 15 points and six assists for UNW. Garver and Deion Wells-Ross scored 11 points apiece and Well-Ross added three blocks.
Boots led Wisconsin-Oshkosh (25-8) with 24 points, including six of the Titans’ 17 3-pointers. Charlie Noone added 14 points and five assists while Brett Wittchow scored 12 and Flynn 10 for the Titans, who tied the program’s single-season record for wins.