NCAC Weekly Release (12-8-14) - Men's Basketball

NCAC Weekly Release (12-8-14) - Men's Basketball

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Following the first full week of league play in the 2014-15 North Coast men’s basketball season, No. 14 Ohio Wesleyan (3-0, 7-0), Allegheny (2-0, 5-3) and Wabash (2-0, 5-1) carry unblemished records against league foes. Teams return to the court this week with six conference games on the schedule, led by Allegheny hosting Kenyon (1-2, 2-4) on Tuesday night and Hiram (1-1, 6-1) traveling to Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.

ALLEGHENY opened league play with a pair of wins last week against Hiram, 76-59, and Wittenberg, 69-56. Saturday’s 13-point win over the Tigers marked the Gators first win against Wittenberg since the 2008-09 season. Sophomore small forward Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) led the Gators in both victories with 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists against Hiram, and 24 points and nine rebounds against Wittenberg.

DENISON split a pair of games last week against nationally-ranked conference opponents, defeating No. 18 DePauw, 67-65, on Wednesday, and falling to No. 14 Ohio Wesleyan, 76-74, on Saturday. The Big Red topped the Tigers thanks to a 20-point effort from sophomore guard David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic), while senior post Briggs King (Evanston, IL/Loyola Acad.) finished the week with 32 points (16.0 ppg) and 14 rebounds (7.0 rpg) after shooting 65 percent (13-of-20) from the field and 63 percent (5-of-8) from the free throw line.

DEPAUW, ranked 18th in the most recent Top 25, dropped its first two league games of the season against Denison, 67-65, and No. 10 Wooster, 76-63. After totalling five blocks on the week, senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) has tied the school record of 110 career blocks set by David Gray from 2006-10.

HIRAM fell in its NCAC opener on Wednesday against Allegheny, 76-59, but the Terriers rebounded with a 76-69 win over Kenyon on Saturday. Junior guard J.J. Woodson (Cleveland, OH/Bedford) scored 15 points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds in the loss against Allegheny, before posting another 15-point performance in the win over Kenyon.

KENYON knocked off Oberlin, 65-45, to open NCAC play on Wednesday, but the Lords rounded out the week with a 76-69 loss against Hiram on Saturday. Sophomore guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall), who scored a career-high 29 points in the loss against Hiram, finished the week with 44 points (22.0 ppg) after shooting 42 percent (14-of-33) from the field, 70 percent (7-of-10) from beyond the arc and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the charity stripe.

OBERLIN dropped a pair of conference road games last week against Kenyon, 65-45, and Wabash, 82-59. Senior guard Miles Gueno (Los Angeles, CA/Winward) scored a career-high 14 points in the loss against the Little Giants.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 14th in the most recent Top 25, led No. 10 Wooster by as many as 26 points, but had to withstand a late second-half push to pick up a 92-89 victory over the Fighting Scots on Wednesday. The Battling Bishops than survived an upset bid on Saturday with a narrow 76-74 win over league-rival Denison. Junior post Claude Gray (Avon, OH/Avon) scored a career-high 33 points in the win over Wooster and added 19 more in the two-point win over DU. Gray, who blocked a potential game-tying shot in the final seconds against the Big Red, also added 12 rebounds, four assists, four blocks and two steals on the week.

WABASH is off to a 2-0 start in league play for the first time since the 2011-12 season after picking up wins last week against Wittenberg, 52-50, and Oberlin, 82-59. Junior forward Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville), who scored a career-high 29 points in the win over the Yeomen, finished the week with 42 points (21.0 ppg) after shooting 70 percent (16-of-23) from the field and 91 percent from the free throw line (10-of-11).

WITTENBERG fell twice in league play last week, dropping a 52-50 home contest against Wabash on Wednesday, before suffering a 69-56 setback at Allegheny on Saturday. Sophomore wing Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) scored 26 points over the two games combined to lead the Tigers’ offensive unit.

WOOSTER, ranked 10th in the most recent Top 25, split a pair of games last week against nationally-ranked conference opponents, falling to No. 14 Ohio Wesleyan, 92-89, at home on Wednesday, before picking up a  76-63 win at No. 18 DePauw on Saturday. Senior wing Evan Pannell (Akron, OH/Archbishop Hoban) notched the first double-double of his career with 25 points and 10 rebounds against OWU, while sophomore Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) paced the Scots with 17 points against DePauw.