There was minimal action across the North Coast men’s basketball circuit last week, with only five non-conference games on the slate, highlighted by No. 10 Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 9-1) and Wittenberg (1-3, 3-6) knocking off a pair of OAC opponents on Saturday. The Bishops topped Otterbein, 92-81, and the Tigers outlasted Heidelberg by a 73-67 margin. NCAC squads will return to non-conference action after the holiday break with numerous teams either hosting or traveling to mid-season tournaments, while conference action picks back up on January 3rd and 4th.
KENYON picked up a 79-63 win over Earlham on Saturday to close out the 2014 portion of its schedule. Four Lords scored in double figures, led by senior guard Cooper Handelsman (Pittsburgh, PA/Shady Side Acad.) with 19 and junior guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) with 18.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 10th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, built a 22-point halftime lead and went on to a post a 92-81 non-conference victory over Otterbein on Saturday in Delaware. Junior post Claude Gray (Avon, OH/Avon) led the Bishops with 28 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore wing Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) scored a career-high 25 points after shooting 8-of-12 from the field, 2-of-3 from three-point range and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Freshman guard Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) also finished the game with 21 points to mark the first time since 2001 that three different OWU players scored 20-plus points in a game.
WABASH lost a hearbreaking 66-65 non-conference contest at Franklin on Saturday. Senior Kasey Oetting (Fort Wayne, IN/Concordia) led the Little Giants with a season-high 18 points, while junior center Marcus Kammrath (Union Mills, IN/South Central) paced the squad on the glass with a season-best 10 rebounds.
WITTENBERG shot 64 percent from the field in the second half and 55 percent overall en route to picking up a 73-67 victory over Heidelberg on Saturday. Senior Sam Collins (Cleveland Hts., OH/Cleveland Hts.) turned in his best shooting performance of the season by hitting 8-of-9 attempts from the field for a game-high 19 points, while sophomore guard Cody Phillippi (Xenia, OH/Xenia) also stuffed the stat sheet with 12 points, a team-high nine rebounds, a career-best five assists, two blocked shots and two steals.
WOOSTER, ranked 14th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25, cruised to an 89-67 victory at Pitt.-Bradford in its lone action last week. Freshman guard Spencer Williams (Orange Village, OH/Orange) led the Fighting Scots with a career-high 15 points after shooting 4-of-8 from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.