NCAC Weekly Release (1-5-15) - Men's Basketball

NCAC Weekly Release (1-5-15) - Men's Basketball

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North Coast men’s basketball teams wrapped up the non-conference portion of the 2014-15 schedule over the holiday break with two league squads capturing tournament championships. No. 14 Wooster (3-1, 9-2) won its annual “Mose” Hole/Kiwanis Tournament, while DePauw won its annual Tampa Bay Shootout in Florida. League squads return to the court this week with seven conference games on the schedule, led by Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 9-2) hosting Wittenberg (1-3, 3-8) on Wednesday and Wabash (3-2, 7-4) traveling to Denison (2-3, 8-4) on Saturday.

ALLEGHENY went 1-2 over the break, falling to Stevenson, 83-72, and DePauw, 85-71, before picking up a 75-63 victory over Wabash on January 4th. Senior guard Josh Valentic (Washington, PA/Trinity) led the Gators in the three-game stretch with 49 points (16.3 ppg) after shooting 57 percent (15-of-29) from the field, 44 percent (8-of-18) from beyond the arc and 61 percent (11-of-18) from the free throw line.

DENISON opened the break with a pair of non-conference victories over Berry, 91-82, and Earlham, 70-63, but closed out play with a 95-72 loss against No. 14 Wooster. Senior post Briggs King (Evanston, IL/Loyola Acad.), who pulled down 13 rebounds and scored a career-high 23 points against Berry, led the Big Red on the week with 56 points (18.7 ppg) and 29 rebounds (9.7 rpg) to go along with eight steals, seven assists and three blocked shots.

DEPAUW went a perfect 4-0 over the break, which included capturing its sixth-straight Tampa Bay Shootout Title and winning a pair of league games over Allegheny, 85-71, and Hiram, 66-58. Senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North), who posted his fourth double-double of the season with 13 points and 14 rebounds against Hiram, was named the MVP of the Tampa Bay Shootout after finishing the tournament with 38 points and 13 rebounds.

HIRAM topped Grove City, 72-64 on December 29th, but the Terriers ended the break with three losses against Bluffton, 64-59, Wabash, 89-78, and DePauw, 66-58. Junior guard J.J. Woodson (Cleveland, OH/Bedford) led the Terriers in scoring in all four games, which included tying his career-high output with a 25-point performance against DePauw. In the four games combined, Woodson scored 80 points (20.0 ppg) after shooting 43 percent (22-of-51) from the field, 43 percent (9-of-21) from three-point range and 68 percent (27-of-40) from the charity stripe.

KENYON lost a pair of games last weekend at the Johns Hopkins Blue Jay Invitational, falling to host JHU, 80-45, in the semifinals, and Randolph, 74-60, in the consolation game. Junior guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) had combined totals of 21 points and 12 rebounds.

OBERLIN went 1-2 during its west coast swing in California last week. The Yeomen fell to unbeaten Chapman, 72-50, and La Verne, 62-54, but they concluded the trip on January 2nd with a 67-44 victory over Caltech. In the win over the Beavers, sophomore Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) led the way with 17 points, while junior Randy Ollie (Evanston, IL/Evanston) was one rebound shy of a double-double with 12 points and nine rebounds.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 10th in the most recent Top 25, suffered an 87-61 setback against Hope in its only action over the holiday break. Freshman guard Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) led the Bishops with 18 points, while junior post Matt Jeske (Glen Ellyn, IL/Glenbard South) added 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds.

WABASH closed out 2014 with an 88-54 victory over IU-Northwest on December 22nd, before splitting a pair of league games on the opening weekend of 2015. The Little Giants defeated Hiram in double overtime by an 89-78 margin on Saturday, before falling to Allegheny, 75-63, on Sunday. In the win over Hiram, sophomore guard Kyle Aiton (Newburgh, IN/Castle) converted a layup just ahead of the second -half buzzer to send the game into overtime, while junior forward Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) paced the Little Giants in the victory with 27 points. In three games combined over the break, Purvlicis scored 78 points (26.0 ppg) and grabbed 16 rebounds (5.3 rpg), while shooting 86 percent (31-of-36) from the field and 57 percent (16-of-28) from the free throw line.

WITTENBERG fell in two games as part of its annual Charles B. Zimmerman Memorial Classic, dropping a 77-69 contest against Waynesburg and a 56-50 decision against Alma. Sophomore Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) was named to the all-tournament team after leading the Tigers with 30 points and 11 rebounds in the two games combined.

WOOSTER, ranked 14th in the most recent Top 25, won its 52nd annual “Mose” Hole/Kiwanis Tournament by grinding out a pair of victories over Wis.-La Crosse, 66-58, and Hope, 78-75. The Fighting Scots then got back into NCAC play on Saturday with a decisive 95-72 victory over Denison. Sophomore Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) was named the “Mose” Hole MVP after scoring a career-high 28 points in the championship game against Hope. Fanelly, who also dished out a career-high eight assists against Denison, finished the three-game stretch with 48 points (16.0 ppg), 17 rebounds (5.7 rpg) and 10 assists (3.3 apg).