There was some separation at the top of the North Coast men’s basketball standings last week as nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (7-1, 14-1) has now built a one-game lead over Wooster (6-2, 10-5) following a pair of league victories over Wabash (2-6, 8-7) and DePauw (2-6, 6-9). NCAC action this week will be highlighted by Kenyon (4-4, 7-8) hosting Wittenberg (5-3, 10-5) on Wednesday night and Denison (3-5, 8-7) traveling to Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY dropped a pair of conference road games against Oberlin, 68-53, and Denison, 75-59. Junior forward Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) led the Gators against the Yeomen with 10 points and six rebounds, before turning in a 13-point, four-rebound performance against the Big Red.
DENISON split a pair of league games in Granville, dropping a 74-58 decision against Kenyon, before bouncing back with a 75-59 victory over Allegheny. In the win over the Gators, junior Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) erupted for 28 points after shooting 11-of-16 from the floor, which included a 4-of-6 clip from three-point range. In addition, senior Darius White (Columbus, OH/East) reached a career milestone on the opening possession against Allegheny as he drained the 200th three-pointer of his career. White is now eight shy of breaking DU’s career mark of 209 set by Brian Malinowski from 1992-96.
DEPAUW, which dropped a 65-42 decision against Wittenberg on Wednesday, trailed No. 8 OWU by one with 1:30 left on Saturday, but the Bishops scored the game’s final six points to secure a 74-67 victory over the Tigers. Junior guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) eclipsed the 20-point plateau for the ninth time this season in the loss against OWU with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field.
HIRAM, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, saw its eight-game winning streak snapped with back-to-back losses against Wooster, 100-69, and Oberlin, 75-67. Sophomore guard Paul Ortiz (Canton, OH/McKinley) led the Terriers with 12 points against Wooster and a 14-point performance against the Yeomen. Ortiz, who also pulled down seven rebounds on the week, combined to shoot 8-of-22 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line.
KENYON won back-to-back NCAC road games for the first time in two years, knocking off rival Denison, 74-58, on Wednesday, before topping Wabash, 80-75, on Saturday. Senior center Brien Comey (Westport, CT/Green Farms Acad.) had a breakout week for the Lords, which included a career-high 30-point performance in the win over the Big Red. Comey, who posted his first two double-double efforts of the season in the KC wins, finished the week with 45 points, 23 rebounds and four blocked shots. In the two games combined, he shot 60 percent (18-of-30) from the field and 75 percent (9-of-12) from the free throw line.
OBERLIN was a perfect 2-0 in league play with a pair of wins over Allegheny, 68-53, and Hiram, 75-67. In the win over the Gators, freshman guard Eli Silverman-Lloyd (Culver City, CA/Windward) was a perfect 5-of-5 from the floor en route to registering a career-high 16 points, while junior guard Zach Meyers (Kalamazoo, MI/Mattawan) stuffed the stat sheet against Hiram with 13 points and career-highs in both rebounds (8) and assists (7).
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked eighth in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, ran its winning streak to six-straight following a pair of wins over Wabash, 88-76, and DePauw, 74-67. Sophomore guard Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) scored 16 points in the first half against Wabash and went on to finish the game with 27 points and five assists, while sophomore guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) scored a career-high 28 points in the Bishops’ seven-point victory over DPU.
WABASH dropped a pair of league games against No. 8 Ohio Wesleyan, 88-76, and Kenyon, 80-75. Freshman center Evan Frank (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) posted a pair of double-double performances on the week, tallying 14 rebounds and a career-high 17 points against OWU, before registering 13 points and a career-best 16 boards against the Lords.
WITTENBERG elevated up the NCAC standings last week with a 65-42 win over DePauw and an 82-77 overtime victory over arch-rival Wooster. The win snapped the Tigers’ eight-game losing streak against the Scots and moves the all-time series to 56-55 in favor of Wooster. Sophomore center Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield), who scored 19 points in the win over Wooster, finished the week with 29 points and 11 rebounds, while also shooting 9-of-20 from the field and 11-of-14 from the free throw line.
WOOSTER split a pair of games against two of the top-four teams in the NCAC standings, running past Hiram, 100-69, before falling in overtime at arch-rival Wittenberg, 82-77. Junior Dan Fannelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) returned to the starting lineup last week and led all Wooster players in scoring with 18 against Hiram and a season-high 26 against Wittenberg. He combined to shoot 70.8 percent (17-of-24) from the field and was also active defensively with four blocks and two steals.