Foresters Unable to Keep Up with #4 Oshkosh in NCAA Tourney

Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com

The Lake Forest College men's basketball team was defeated 86-62 by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Friday evening in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament.

Oshkosh, last year's national runner-up, entered this weekend's regional tournament at Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota, as the fourth-ranked team in the country. The Titans improved to 24-3 on the season while the Foresters, who advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history, finished the season 18-10.

Sean Espinosa led Lake Forest and tied for game-high honors with 22 points in the contest. He shot 10-for-17 from the field and added four rebounds and a pair of steals. The sophomore guard finished the year with 510 points, the fourth-highest total in team history and the most by a Forester since 1970.

Senior forward Danny Sotos was next on the team with 13 points to match Jermaine Williams (1993-97) for the seventh place in team history with 1,364 in his career. He also blocked three shots on the evening. 

Junior guard Aram Arslanian added 10 points while senior guard Jordan Moran finished with nine. Moran made three of six shots from the floor in the contest and finished the season with the highest field goal percentage in school history at 69.5 percent. The team's other senior, forward Chad Bauchan, had four points and a pair of blocked shots.

Lake Forest was held to 40.9 percent shooting on the evening, dropping the team's program record mark for the season to 50.5. Oshkosh connected on 49.3 percent of field goal attempts overall and made 13 of 32 three-pointers while the Foresters were just 3-for-13 from beyond the arc. The Titans most significant statistical advantage was in rebounds, where the much taller team pulled down 48 to Lake Forest's 28.

The Foresters trailed by as many as 12 points in the opening period but closed to within seven at 33-26 at halftime. The Titans opened the second half with an 11-2 run and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way. 

Oshkosh advances to Saturday night's regional final against the winner of Friday night's second semifinal, which features #9 Saint John's and the University of Northwestern.

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