The 2014-15 NCAC men’s basketball season came to a close on Saturday night as both Wooster (23-7) and DePauw (20-10) suffered heartbreaking losses in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Division III Tournament.
DEPAUW opened tournament play on Thursday evening in St. Louis, Missouri, with an 83-73 win at Washington (MO), behind a strong 18-point, five-rebound and one-assist performance from sophomore Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick). The win marked DPU’s first victory in the national tournament since a 2002 victory also over Wash U. Additionally, the win marked the first time the Tigers won on an opponent’s court in the national tournament since a round of 16 win at St. Thomas in 1990. The Tigers ultimately saw their late-season run come to an end on Saturday night with a heartbreaking 68-66 loss at Augustana in the second round. Lattner was again at the center of the final outcome as his layup attempt at the buzzer go stuck between the rim and the backboard as time expired. Senior center Tommy Fernitz (Northbrook, IL/Glenbrook North) posted a double-double in the two-point loss with 10 rebounds and a game-high 21 points.
OHIO WESLEYAN suffered a 90-78 loss against St. Olaf in the opening-round on Friday night in Whitewater, Wisconsin. The Battling Bishops, who averaged 12.1 three pointers per game this season, were held to just nine made three balls in the 12-point loss. Sophomore Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) posted his fifth double-double of the season in the loss with 11 rebounds and a career-high tying 25 points.
WOOSTER cruised to an 84-59 victory over Misericordia in the opening-round on Friday night in Marietta, Ohio, but the Fighting Scots also suffered a heartbreaking 88-86 loss in the second-round on Saturday night against Marietta as a Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) three-point attempt at the buzzer rimmed out as time expired. Fanelly paced the Scots in the opening round victory with his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Evan Pannell (Akron, OH/Archbishop Hoban) led the way against the Pioneers with a team-high 23 points. Pannell’s scoring output against Marietta allowed him to become the 40th player in program history to eclipse the 1,000 point plateau as he closed out his career at Wooster with 1,005 career points.