NCAC Weekly Release (2-16-15) - Men's Basketball

NCAC Weekly Release (2-16-15) - Men's Basketball

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Ohio Wesleyan (14-2, 19-4) has clinched at least a share of its first NCAC men’s basketball championship since the 1987-88 season after posting a pair of wins last week over Wabash, 81-80, and Allegheny, 80-66. The 2014-15 regular season concludes this week with five games each on Wednesday and Saturday, led by Wabash (10-6, 15-8) hosting DePauw (9-7, 16-7) on Wednesday and Allegheny (7-9, 10-13) traveling to Denison (7-9, 13-10) on Saturday. The 2015 NCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket will be announced on Saturday following the conclusion of all league games.

ALLEGHENY suffered a pair of league losses last week against Oberlin, 79-56, and Ohio Wesleyan, 80-66. Senior Josh Valentic (Washington, PA/Trinity) led the Gators with 15 points against the Yeomen, while junior Evan Schweitzer (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) finished one rebound shy of his first-career double-double with 11 points and nine rebounds against OWU.

DENISON dropped a pair of hard-fought contests last week against Kenyon, 66-62, and Wabash, 68-66. Sophomore guard David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) combined to shoot 54 percent (15-of-28) from the field on the week after scoring 21 points against Kenyon and a team-high 24 against Wabash.

DEPAUW split a pair of conference games last week, dropping a one-point decision against Wittenberg at home on Wednesday, before collecting a 66-61 road win at Kenyon on Saturday. Senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) returned to the rotation for the Tigers last week and led DPU to Saturday’s victory over Kenyon with a career-high 25 points off the bench.

HIRAM lost a pair of road games last week against Wooster, 79-44, and Oberlin, 83-58. In Saturday’s loss against the Yeomen, the freshmen duo of Sterling Sanders (Shaker Hts., OH/Beachwood) and Jantsen Locke (Minerva, OH/Minerva) each posted career-high scoring efforts with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

KENYON knocked off conference-rival Denison, 66-62, on Wednesday in Granville, before suffering a narrow 66-61 decision against DePauw on Saturday in Gambier. Senior shooting guard Jonathan Amador (Woodstock,GA/Woodstock) paced the Lords against the Big Red by scoring 21 points, which included shooting a blistering 6-of-8 from three-point range.

OBERLIN turned in a pair of commanding wins last week, defeating Allegheny, 79-56, on Wednesday, before knocking off Hiram, 83-58, on Saturday. With 10 total victories on the season, the Yeomen have secured their first double-digit win total in a season since finishing 14-10 in the 1991-92 campaign. Sophomore guard Nathan Cohen (San Francisco, CA/Urban) poured in a career-high 20 points in the win over Hiram, while classmate Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) led the Yeomen with 13 points against the Gators.

OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 23rd in the most recent Top 25, clinched at least a share of its first NCAC men’s basketball championship since the 1987-88 season after collecting a pair of wins last week over Wabash, 81-80, and Allegheny, 80-66. Junior post Claude Gray (Avon, OH/Avon), who sunk a pair of free throws in the final seconds to clinch the win over Wabash, finished the week with 47 points (23.5 ppg) and 13 rebounds (6.5 rpg) after shooting 43 percent (15-of-35) from the field, 31 percent (5-of-16) from beyond the arc and 75 percent (12-of-16) at the free throw line.

WABASH secured a home game in the quarterfinal round of the 2015 NCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament after splitting a pair of games last week. The Little Giants suffered a heartbreaking 81-80 loss at OWU on Saturday, before clinching the home court advantage with a 68-66 victory over Denison in Crawfordsville on Saturday. Junior Marcus Kammrath (Union Mills, IN/South Central), who tipped in a missed shot in the final seconds for the game-winning bucket against DU, finished the game by posting his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds. Kammrath also finished just one rebound shy of a double-double against OWU with 12 points and nine rebounds.

WITTENBERG held off a late charge by DePauw on Wednesday to secure a 54-53 road victory, before falling at home on Saturday to arch-rival Wooster by a 63-59 margin. Freshman Chris Sloneker (Monroe, OH/Monroe) led Wittenberg with 14 points and seven rebounds in the win over DPU, while sophomore Cody Phillippi (Xenia, OH/Xenia) paced the Tigers with 15 points in the four-point loss against Wooster.

WOOSTER, which currently appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the Top 25, remains alone in second-place in the league standings following a pair of wins last week against Hiram, 79-44, and Wittenberg, 63-59. Senior forward Evan Pannell (Akron, OH/Archbishop Hoban) scored eight points in the decisive win over Hiram on Wednesday, before leading the Scots with 20 points in the narrow win over Wittenberg. Pannell has now scored 20 or more points in 10 games this season.