NCAC Men's Basketball Tournament
Edited: Feb. 27, 2010
As NCAC tournament champions, Wooster earns a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament. The NCAA will announce matchups on Monday.
2010 All-Tournament Team
Wooster moves into the title game after defeating Ohio Wesleyan, 87-70, in their semifinal matchup. The Fighting Scots opened the game with a 4-0 lead and then held off the Battling Bishops with a stellar shooting performance. Wooster connected on seven of 13 shots from outside the arc (53.8 percent) and compiled a 61.3 field goal percentage (19 of 31) during the first half; they put together a 14-0 run late in the period that all but put the game out of the Bishops' reach. The Scots finished the night 32-of-61 (.525) from the field, including a 12-for-25 effort from long range and a 11-for-16 performance from the free throw line. Josh Claytor led Wooster with 17 points and nine rebounds. Nathan Balch added 13 points, and Bryan Wickliffe and Ian Franks scored 12 points apiece. Dillon McBride led the Bishops with 16 points, while Andy Winters finished with 10. Ohio Wesleyan finishes its 2009-10 campaign with a 13-14 record.
Wittenberg edged Wabash, 61-60, in the first semifinal conest of the evening. The Tigers had built up a 32-17 halftime lead, but Wabash dominated the first 10 minutes of the second half to erase Wittenberg's advantage. After Wittenberg built the lead back to seven on a pair of free throws by Josh McKee, Wabash again stormed back, scoring nine of the next 11 points to take a 60-59 lead with 45 seconds left. A Wabash foul sent the Tigers' David Hieber to the line - he hit both free throws to give Wittenberg a 61-60 victory.Chris Sullivan and Josh McKee led the way with nine points apiece for Wittenberg. McKee added five rebounds and two assists, while Hieber and Clayton Black added eight points each. Hieberalso snagged five rebounds in 13 minutes off the bench. After hitting just seven shots in the first half, Wabash connected on 15-of-30 attempts from the field in the final period to shoot 39.3 percent for the game. Chase Haltom led all scorers with 16 points, followed closely by Wes Smith, who netted 15. Aaron Brock finished with 12 points in his final collegiate game. Wabash closes out its season with an 18-8 record.
As the top seed, Wooster will host the semifinal and championship games on Friday and Saturday. Friday's first semifinal pits Wabash against Wittenberg. Tipoff is set for 6:00 p.m. The Little Giants swept the regular season series between the two squads, including picking up their first-ever win in Springfield, in a series that dates back to 1931. The second semifinal tips off at 8:00 p.m. and features the home Fighting Scots taking on Ohio Wesleyan. Wooster, which turned in a 15-1 regular season record, swept both games of the regular seaosn series against the Bishops. Wooster will also host the championship game, set for a 7:00 p.m. tipoff on Saturday. Live video of the semifinal and championship games will be provided through Teamline. The cost for the semifinals will be $10 (good for both games). The cost for the championship game will also be $10. Click here to purchase the video.
Wabash advanced to the semifinals of the NCAC tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The second-seeded Little Giants led from start to finish over seventh seed Denison. Senior Wes Smith paced the hosts with 21 points on 10-for-20 shooting. Classmate Chase Haltom poured in 11 in the first half and finished with 17, Freshman Dimonde Hale of the Big Red posted a game-high 23 points (10-of-17) with 10 rebounds, for the first double-double of his career. Hale accounted for 13 of his team’s 17 first-half points, and had the squad’s first nine points of the contest. Denison finishes the season at 7-19.
Third-seeded Wittenberg upended sixth seed Hiram to advance past the quarterfinals for the first time in three seasons. The Tigers used a fast start, 53.2 shooting and a 14-8 edge in turnovers forced to top the Terriers, 85-63. Sophomore Clayton Black led Wittenberg in just 21 minutes of action with a career-high 17 points and a team-best eight rebounds. In all, four Tigers reached double figures in scoring as they improved to 20-6 overall. After Wittenberg roared out to a 23-6 lead to open the game, Hiram got within seven points before the half, but were never that close again. Junior Deon Milton had a team-high 12 points for the Terriers, all on three-pointers. Hiram ends the year at 12-14.
Ohio Wesleyan was the only team to upset a higher-seeded squad in the 2010 NCAC tournament quarterfinals. The Battling Bishops, seeded fifth, topped fourth-seeded Allegheny in Meadville, 73-59, on the strength of 61.4 percent shooting. An early 11-0 run lifted OWU to a 16-6 advantage and it never trailed again. The Gators got as close as seven, 64-57, with less than four minutes left, but the Battling Bishops put the game out of reach by scoring the next nine points, including four by sophomore Tim Brady. Brady finished with a game-high 27 points on 10-for-13 shooting, while classmate Pat Pellerite hit a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior George Raftis paced Allegheny with a double-double of his own with 16 points and 11 boards. The Gators end the season at 14-11.
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