NCAC Weekly Release (1-13-14) - Men's Basketball

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With one-third of the North Coast men’s basketball season in the books, nationally-ranked Wittenberg (6-0, 12-1) and Wooster (6-0, 12-1) share the top spot in the league standings with identical 6-0 marks. However, that tie will be broken this Saturday (1/18) as the ninth-ranked Tigers will host the second-ranked Fighting Scots at 7:30 p.m. in Springfield.

ALLEGHENY went 0-2 last week, falling at Carnegie Mellon, 73-65, on Wednesday, before dropping a 76-64 decision against No. 22 Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Senior Ryan Stanko (Allison Park, PA/Deer Lakes) scored 12 points against the Tartans and then added a team-high 17-point effort against OWU.

DENISON picked up a pair of NCAC wins last week against Oberlin, 71-60, and Wabash 71-54. The Big Red have now won four of their last six games, with the two losses coming against nationally-ranked teams. Senior  guard Alex Longi (Cincinnati, OH/St. Xavier) finished the week with 34 points (17.0 ppg) and 12 rebounds (6.0 rpg) after shooting 56 percent (9-of-16) from the field and 68 percent (15-of-22) from the free throw line.

DEPAUW ran its winning streak to five straight following a 62-54 win over Kenyon on Saturday. The Tigers have won five games in a row for the first time since 2010-11. In the current five-game stretch, junior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North), who scored 14 points and pulled down a career-high 17 rebounds against the Lords, has averaged 17.4 points and 15.6 boards per game.

HIRAM nearly erased an 18-point second-half deficit in a narrow 80-79 league loss against No. 9 Wittenberg on Saturday. The Terriers had five players score in double figures in the loss, led by senior guard Aaron Stefanov (Stow, OH/Stow-Munroe Falls) with 18 points.

KENYON dropped a pair of home games last week, falling to No. 2 Wooster, 92-52, and DePauw, 62-54. Senior forward Brian Lebowtiz (New York, NY/Riverdale) led the Lords’ offensive unit on the week with 27 total points.

OBERLIN senior Geoff Simpson (Simsbury, CT/Simsbury) joined the program’s 1,000-point club after scoring 12 points in the Yeomen’s 71-60 loss at Denison on Wednesday. Oberlin also suffered a 77-55 defeat against Division I Cornell on Saturday in Ithaca, New York.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 22nd in the most recent Top 25 poll, split a pair of games last week, falling in overtime against No. 9 Wittenberg, 62-60, on Wednesday, before topping Allegheny, 76-64, on Saturday. Freshman guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) led the Bishops with 14 points against the Tigers, while senior guard Taylor Rieger (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy Orange) paced the them with 20 points against the Gators.

WABASH saw its three-game win streak come to an end on Saturday following a 71-54 home loss against Denison. Sophomore forward Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) matched his career-best effort by scoring 18 points after shooting 78 percent (7-of-9) from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.

WITTENBERG, ranked ninth in the most recent Top 25 poll, extended its winning streak to 11-straight following a pair of dramatic wins last week. On Wednesday, the Tigers overcame a 22-point second-half deficit to defeat No. 22 Ohio Wesleyan in overtime by a 62-60 margin, before holding on for a one-point, 80-79, win over Hiram on Saturday. Senior Scott Masin (New Carlisle, OH/Bethel) posted his 22nd career double-double and seventh of the season against OWU with 24 points and a career-high 16 rebounds, while also tallying 18 points and five rebounds against the Terriers.

WOOSTER, ranked second in the most recent Top 25 poll, knocked off Kenyon, 92-52, in its only action last week. Senior guard Doug Thorpe (Columbus, OH/Eastmoor Academy) led the Fighting Scots’ charge by shooting 58 percent (7-of-12) from the field and a perfect 2-of-2 from beyond the arc to finish with a game-high 16 points. Thorpe also contributed four assists, two rebounds and two steals.