While Hiram (5-1, 11-2), Wooster (5-1, 9-4) and nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (5-1, 12-1) have separated themselves from the pack in the North Coast men’s basketball standings, parity seems to be the name of the game below them as six of those seven teams have identical 2-4 records against league foes. There are 10 league games on the schedule this week, highlighted by Hiram traveling to Wooster on Wednesday and Wittenberg (3-3, 8-5) hosting Wooster on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY overcame a 16-point deficit with 12 minutes left and took the lead in the final minute, but Wabash sunk a pair of free throws with six seconds left to escape Meadville with a 63-61 victory. The Gators also dropped an 89-77 decision against No. 8 Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Junior Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds against the Little Giants, while senior Chris Milon (Novi, MI/Novi) led four Gators in double digits against Wooster with 19 points on an 8-of-9 shooting performance from the field.
DENISON split a pair of games last week, topping Capital, 92-76, before suffering an 80-66 loss against Wabash. Junior David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) erupted for 38 points in the win against the Crusaders after shooting a blistering 15-of-17 from the field, which included a perfect 4-of-4 clip from three-point range. The 38 points was the most by a DU player since Brian Malinowski also poured in 38 against Wilmington in 1994. Meurer followed with a 23-point effort against Wabash.
DEPAUW dropped a pair of league games last week against Hiram, 91-60, and Kenyon, 82-75. Junior guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) led the Tigers with 26 points against Kenyon and finished the week with 36 points after shooting 12-of-24 from the field, 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
HIRAM stayed red hot and extended its winning streak to eight-straight with two league wins over DePauw, 91-60, and Wittenberg, 72-68. Three Terriers scored in double figures against DPU, led by senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, OH/Bedford) finishing with 15 points. Woodson then led Hiram in scoring with 20 against Wittenberg, while junior Joe Caspio (Willowick, OH/Eastlake North) scored a career-high 10 points off the bench.
KENYON split a pair of league games last week, falling to Wooster, 91-78, before picking up an 82-75 victory over DePauw. Seven different players scored at least seven points in the win over DePauw, led by senior guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) scoring 27 points after shooting 6-of-10 from the field and 14-of-17 from the charity stripe.
OBERLIN junior guard Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) scored a game-high 27 points and classmate Zach Meyers (Kalamazoo, MI/Mattawan) added a career-high 15 points and matched a personal-best with seven assists, but it wasn’t enough as Wooster outlasted the Yeomen by an 86-76 margin.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked eighth in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, kept pace at the top of the NCAC standings with a pair of wins last week against Wittenberg, 77-70, and Allegheny, 89-77. Sophomore guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) paced OWU with 16 points against Wittenberg, while junior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) scored 23 points and pulled down a team-high six rebounds against the Gators.
WABASH picked up a pair of crucial league wins against Allegheny, 63-61, and Denison, 80-66. In the win against Allegheny, freshman guard Johnny Jager (Bloomington, IN/South) drained a pair of free throws with six seconds left to secure the two-point victory. Jager and senior guard Austin Burton (Crawfordsville, IN/Southmont) shared the team-lead with 16 points apiece against the Gators. Senior Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) then erupted for 18 second-half points against Denison to finish with a game-high 27 points on 13-of-17 shooting from the field.
WITTENBERG lost a pair of tight league contests last week against No. 8 Ohio Wesleyan, 77-70, and Hiram, 72-68. Junior guard Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) led the Tigers on the week with a pair of double-double performances, tallying 23 points and 10 rebounds against OWU, before posting 20 points and 11 boards against the Terriers.
WOOSTER scored a season-high 91 points in a 16-point victory over Kenyon, before capping off the week with an 86-76 triumph at Oberlin. Sophomore guard Spencer Williams (Bedford, OH/Orange) made 4-of-5 three pointers and led the Scots with 20 points against the Lords, before turning in a perfect 4-of-4 performance from beyond the arc against Oberlin en route to an 18-point showing. Williams, who also distributed six assists and collected four steals on the week, is now the Scots’ leading scorer at 13.4 points per game.