NCAC Weekly Release (2-3-14) - Men's Basketball

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There was some separation at the top of the North Coast men’s basketball standings last week as No. 17 Ohio Wesleyan (10-2, 16-3) and No. 5 Wooster (10-2, 16-3) now share the top spot in the league standings following the Battling Bishops’ 2-0 week, while No. 23 DePauw (9-3, 14-5) and No. 18 Wittenberg (9-3, 15-4) both dropped a game back in the standings. League play continues this week with three games on Wednesday, two on Friday and five more on Saturday, led by Ohio Wesleyan hosting Wittenberg on Wednesday night.

ALLEGHENY suffered a pair of tough losses last week, falling to Hiram, 70-68, on a buzzer-beater on Wednesday, before falling in overtime against Kenyon on Saturday by a 61-53 margin. Senior Ryan Stanko (Allison Park, PA/Deer Lakes) led the Gators with 21 points against Hiram, while freshman Sam Calhoun (Pittsburgh, PA/Central Catholic) grabbed a career-high 13 rebounds against Kenyon.

DENISON battled a pair of nationally-ranked teams last week, falling to No. 23 DePauw, 68-63, on Wednesday and topping No. 18 Wittenberg, 63-60, on Saturday. The win marked DU’s first victory over a nationally-ranked opponent since Feb. 24, 2012, when the Big Red knocked off Wittenberg, 66-58, in the semifinals of the NCAC Tournament. Junior post Briggs King (Evanston, IL/Loyola Acad.), who nailed the game-winning three-pointer with 25 seconds left in regulation against Wittenberg, finished the week with 24 points (12.0 ppg), 13 rebounds (6.5 rpg), five steals, three blocks and one assist.

DEPAUW, ranked 23rd in the most recent Top 25, extended its road winning streak to five with a 68-63 win over Denison on Wednesday, but saw the streak snapped on Saturday with a heartbreaking 62-60 loss at Oberlin. In the win over Denison, junior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) posted his eighth double-double of the season with 18 points and 15 rebounds.

HIRAM was 1-2 in league action last week, defeating Allegheny, 70-68, on a buzzer beater from senior Chirs Zurowski (Medina, OH/Medina) on Wednesday, before dropping back-to-back games against Ohio Wesleyan, 88-61, and Kenyon, 84-75, over the weekend. In three games on the week, senior guard Josh Edmondson (Euclid, OH/Twinsburg) scored 47 points (15.7 ppg) and pulled down 19 rebounds (6.3 rpg), while shooting 58 percent (15-of-26) from the field, 54 percent (7-of-13) from beyond the arc and 71 percent (10-of-14) from the free throw line.

KENYON jumped back above the .500 mark in league play after posting three victories last week over Oberlin, 72-64, Allegheny, 61-53 (OT), and Hiram, 84-75. Sophomore center Brian Comey (Westport, CT/Green Farms Acad.) was the Lords’ key contributor on the week as he piled up 43 points, 25 rebounds, four steals and three blocks, highlighted by 10 rebounds and a career-high 19 points for his first collegiate double-double against Hiram.

OBERLIN senior Emmanuel Lewis (Lambertville, NJ/Solebury) made a go-ahead layup with 11 seconds to play to lift the Yeomen past No. 23 DePauw, 62-60. Lewis finished the game with seven points, while sophomore center Randy Ollie (Evanston, IL/Evanston) was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor to finish the game with 13 points. The Yeomen also held a second-half lead against Kenyon on Wednesday, but fell victim to a late run by the Lords in a 72-64 loss.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 17th in the most recent Top 25, opened play last week by topping No. 5 Wooster on the road by a 62-60 margin, before posting an 88-61 win over Hiram on Saturday. Senior post Reuel Rogers (Columbus, OH/Bexley), who converted a three-point play in the final minute to put OWU ahead to stay against Wooster, finished the week with 29 points (14.5 ppg), 20 rebounds (10.0) and six blocks (3.0 bpg). Rogers led the Bishops with 21 points, 13 rebounds and three blocked shots against the Fighting Scots, while senior guard Taylor Rieger (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy Orange) posted 23 points and five assists against Hiram.

WABASH lost a pair of road games against nationally-ranked opponents last week, falling to No. 18 Wittenberg, 70-50, and No. 5 Wooster, 75-68. Sophomore guard Ross Sponsler (Terre Haute, IN/North Vigo) led the Little Giants with 13 points against Wooster in his first start since suffering a concussion against Kenyon on January 18th.

WITTENBERG, ranked 18th in the most recent Top 25, split a pair of league games last week, topping Wabash, 70-50, on Wednesday, before falling to Denison, 63-60, on Saturday. In the win over Wabash, senior Steven Newell (Englewood, OH/Northmont) nailed five three-pointers to lead the Tigers with 15 points, while senior Scott Masin (New Carlisle, OH/Bethel) led the squad with 14 points and 11 rebounds in the loss against DU.

WOOSTER, ranked fifth in the most recent Top 25, suffered its second-consecutive league loss last Wednesday with a 62-60 setback against Ohio Wesleyan, but the Fighting Scots rebounded on Saturday with a 75-68 win over Wabash. Senior Kenny DeBoer (Westerville, OH/North) notched the second double-double of his career with 15 points and 10 rebounds against OWU, before tallying a season-high 18 points against Wabash.