NCAC Weekly Release (12-15-14) - Men's Basketball

NCAC Weekly Release (12-15-14) - Men's Basketball

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North Coast men’s basketball teams will return to the court this week with five non-conference games on the schedule, highlighted by a pair of NCAC-OAC matchups on Saturday with Wittenberg (1-3, 2-6) hosting Heidelberg and Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 8-1) entertaining Otterbein.

ALLEGHENY suffered its first league loss of the season last Tuesday with a 75-72 overtime setback against Kenyon. Junior power forward Brandon Smith (Gahanna, OH/Gahanna) was a perfect 10-of-10 from the field for a team-high 20 points, while sophomore forward Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) scored 19 points and pulled down a team-high nine rebounds in the loss.

DENISON split a pair of league games last week, topping Oberlin, 90-56, on Wednesday, before falling in a narrow 59-57 contest at Wittenberg on Saturday. In the win over the Yeomen, junior Darius White (Galloway, OH/East) tied the program’s single-game record for three-pointers made with eight. He finished the game with 26 points after shooting 9-of-13 from the field and 8-of-12 from beyond the arc.

DEPAUW,which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent Top 25, opened play last week with a 69-49 non-conference win over Earlham on Wednesday, but the Tigers closed out the week with a 67-63 loss at Oberlin on Saturday. After swatting away five shots in the win over Earlham and three more in the loss against Oberlin, senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) became the school’s all-time leader in blocked shots with 118, surpassing the previous benchmark of 110 set by David Gray (2006-10).

HIRAM dropped a 92-84 decision against No. 6 Ohio Wesleyan in its only action last week. Junior guard J.J. Woodson (Cleveland, OH/Bedford) led the Terriers with 17 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, while freshman center Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) notched his first-career double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

KENYON evened its league record at 2-2 with a 75-72 overtime win at Allegheny on Tuesday, but the Lords closed out the week on Friday with a 74-58 non-conference home loss against Albion. In the win over the Gators, senior guard Cooper Handelsman (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Acad.) scored a career-high 24 points, which included knocking down the go-ahead layup in overtime to launch the Lords to the victory.

OBERLIN combined for a 2-1 record last week, earning wins over Grove City, 77-50, and DePauw, 67-63, with its lone loss coming against Denison by a 90-56 margin. The Yeomen closed out the victory against DPU on a 14-0 run, capped off by junior Matt Walker (Los Angeles, CA/Winward School) hitting the game-winning jumper with 14 seconds left to play. Walker finished the game against the Tigers with eight points and two rebounds, while sophomore Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) scored a game-high 22 points and added a career-high six assists.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked sixth in the most recent Top 25, fell from the ranks of the nation’s unbeaten squads last week with an 87-82 loss against Trine on Tuesday; however, the Bishops rebounded on Saturday with a 92-84 league win over Hiram. Junior post Claude Gray (Avon, OH/Avon) led OWU with 29 points against Trine, while sophomore wing Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) finished the week with combined totals of 33 points (16.5 ppg), 11 rebounds (5.5 rpg) and three assists (1.5 apg).

WABASH lost its first league game of the season on Saturday at Wooster by an 81-52 margin. Junior forward Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) led the Little Giants in scoring with 15 points, while sophomore guard Kyle Aiton (Newburgh, IN/Castle) paced Wabash on the glass with seven rebounds.

WITTENBERG picked up its first conference win of the season in its only action last week with a narrow 59-57 home victory over Denison on Saturday. Sophomore guard Shane Edwards (Perrysburg, OH/Perrysburg) led the Tigers with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while freshman Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) scored the go-ahead basket with 2:23 left in the game and finished the contest with 12 points, three rebounds and two blocked shots.

WOOSTER, ranked 17th in the most recent Top 25, broke an 18-18 tie with a 16-4 run to close out the first half and then added a 7-0 run early in the second period en route to earning an 81-52 win over Wabash in its only action last week. Senior guard Xavier Brown (Bowling Green, OH/Bowling Green) led the Fighting Scots with a season-high 24 points, but it was his defensive numbers that were most impressive in the victory as he notched a season-high four steals and a career-high three blocked shots.