Through the first two full weeks of the 2014-15 NCAC men’s
basketball season, six league squads hold unblemished records,
including Denison (0-0, 2-0), DePauw (0-0, 3-0), Hiram (0-0, 3-0),
Ohio Wesleyan (1-0, 3-0), Wabash (0-0, 2-0) and Wooster (0-0, 3-0).
Non-conference play continues throughout the league this week with
seven games on Tuesday, one on Wednesday, four on Saturday and
three more on Sunday.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of non-league games last week, falling to Juniata, 69-55, on Wednesday, before topping Thiel, 63-59, on Saturday. In the win over Thiel, junior forward Brandon Smith (Gahanna, OH/Gahanna Lincoln) posted his second career double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) finished the week with 26 points (13.0 ppg), 12 rebounds (6.0 rpg) and four assists (2.0 apg).
DENISON posted a 76-65 win over Washington & Jefferson in its only action last week. The Big Red outrebounded the Presidents by a 54-27 margin and scored 23 second-chance points after pulling down 19 offensive rebounds. Senior Brad Woolard (Newark, OH/Newark) led DU with 19 points, while junior Darius White (Galloway, OH/East) scored 17 points after knocking down 5-of-11 three point attempts.
DEPAUW won the Otterbein Smokey Ballenger Tournament after defeating Anderson, 71-52, in the semifinals and host Otterbein, 54-42, in the championship. The Tigers also won their season-opener last Tuesday with a 79-60 triumph over Franklin. Senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North), who was named the MVP of the Smokey Ballenger Tournament, finished the week with 48 points (16.0 ppg) and 34 rebounds (11.3 rpg), while also shooting 68 percent (21-of-31) from the field and 60 percent (6-of-10) from the free throw line.
HIRAM improved to 3-0 on the season with a pair of wins last week against Otterbein, 87-83, and Westminster, 88-71. In the win over the Cardinals on Tuesday, junior Ray Gaston (Warren, OH/John F. Kennedy) and sophomore Kyle Deckerd (Louisville, OH/Canton South) both scored a career-high 19 points, while junior J.J. Woodson (Cleveland, OH/Bedford) led the Terriers with career-highs in both points (25) and rebounds (7) in the win over the Titans.
KENYON opened play last week with a 95-86 home loss to Ohio Wesleyan, but the Lords rebounded for their first win of the season on Sunday against Muskingum by a 91-75 margin. In the win, senior guard Cooper Handelsman (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Acad.) broke the program’s single-game assist record after he passed out 13 helpers. He topped the program’s previous single-game total of 12 set by current VCU head coach Shaka Smart in the 1989-99 season. In addition, junior guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) scored a career-high 26 points in the win.
OBERLIN picked up a 71-55 victory at Muskingum on Wednesday in its only action last week. Three Yeomen scored in double figures, led by sophomore Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) with 17 and junior center Randy Ollie (Evanston, IL/Evanston) contributing 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots.
OHIO WESLEYAN opened its 2014-15 campaign with three wins last week over Kenyon, 95-86, Alma, 82-67, and Calvin, 85-71. Senior wing Nick Felhaber (Holland, OH/Toledo St. John’s) played and started in all three games and finished the week with 60 points (20.0 ppg) after shooting 70 percent (19-of-27) from the field, 72 percent (18-of-25) from beyond the arc and 80 percent (4-of-5) from the free throw line. In the win over Calvin, Felhaber led the Bishops with a career-high 29 points after he tied the school record for three pointers made with nine and broke the school record for three-point field goal percentage by connecting on 75 percent of his tries.
WABASH picked up a pair of road victories to open the 2014-15 season last week against Boyce, 102-63, and Illinois Tech, 69-35. The 100-point effort against Boyce marked the first time a Little Giant squad topped the 100-point plateau since the 2008 season. Junior forward Dan Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) posted a pair of double-doubles on the week by scoring 18 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in each win.
WITTENBERG opened play last week with a 63-46 loss at Capital, before dropping a pair of contests over the weekend in Maryland against Stevenson, 75-65, and Randolph-Macon, 70-49, at the Hoopsville National Invitational. Sophomore wing Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) led the Tigers with 17 points against Capital and finished the week with 31 points (10.3 ppg) and 18 rebounds (6.0 rpg).
WOOSTER, ranked 10th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, won its 21st annual Al Van Wie/Rotary Classic by knocking off Mount Union, 80-73, on Friday, and Saint Vincent, 91-53, on Saturday. The Purple Raiders (OAC) and Bearcats (PAC) were both preseason favorites in coaches’ polls in their respective conferences prior to the season. Sophomore Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) was named Tournament MVP after he finished the three-day event with 38 points (19.0 ppg) and 15 rebounds (7.5 rpg), which included a 25-point, 10-rebound and six-assist performance against SVC. The 25 points and six rebounds were both career-highs for Fanelly.