The jockeying at the top of the North Coast men’s basketball standings continued last week as nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (2-1, 8-1) fell from the ranks of the nation’s unbeaten teams following a 74-72 loss against Hiram (2-1, 5-2). Wittenberg (3-1, 6-2) currently holds a half-game lead at the top of the league standings, while Allegheny (2-1, 2-7), Wooster (2-1, 4-2), Hiram and Ohio Wesleyan fight for the second position with identical 2-1 marks against NCAC foes. There are only three games on the schedule this week as many institutions are in the final exam period of the fall semester.
ALLEGHENY was unable to hold a second-half lead on Tuesday as Kenyon finished the game on a 19-3 run to secure a 74-62 victory over the Gators. Senior Chris Milon (Novi, MI/Novi) led Allegheny with 17 points, while classmate Evan Schweitzer (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) contributed with seven points, six assists and five rebounds.
DENISON split a pair of home conference games last week, defeating Oberlin in overtime, 89-81, before falling to Wittenberg by a 75-68 margin. Junior Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) poured in a career-high 32 points in the win over the Yeomen after shooting 9-of-18 from the field, 5-of-8 from three-point range and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. In addition, senior Darius White (Columbus, OH/East) added 22 points against Oberlin on 6-of-13 shooting from beyond the arc.
DEPAUW snapped its three-game losing streak with a 75-66 victory over Oberlin on Saturday. Sophomore Jack VandeMerkt (Riverside, IL/Brookfield) posted his third double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds, while classmate David Vogel (Bluffton, IN/Norwell) finished the contest with career-highs in both points (20) and rebounds (9).
HIRAM sophomore Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) converted a putback layup with 2.7 seconds left to lift the Terriers to the 74-72 upset victory over No. 4 Ohio Wesleyan. The win marked the first time Hiram beat a top-five opponent since knocking off top-ranked Ohio Northern in the 1992-93 season. While Jones provided the late-game heroics, senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, OH/Bedford) led the Terriers throughout the contest with seven rebounds and a career-high 29 points.
KENYON senior guard Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) scored a career-high 32 points to lead the Lords in a 74-62 home victory over Allegheny. Connolly shot 8-of-14 from the field, including 5-of-11 from three-point range, and a perfect 11-of-11 from the free throw line. His stat line also included six rebounds, three assists and two steals.
OBERLIN dropped a pair of tight NCAC contests last week, falling in overtime against Denison on Wednesday by an 89-81 margin, before suffering a 75-66 setback against DePauw on Saturday. Senior center Randy Ollie (Evanston, IL/Evanston) led the Yeomen with 20 points and eight rebounds against the Big Red, while junior Nathan Cohen (San Francisco, CA/Urban) paced Oberlin with 17 points against the Tigers.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked fourth in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, pulled even with Hiram at 72 apiece on a three-ball from senior Claude Gray (Avon, OH/Avon) with 23 seconds left, but the Terriers scored on a putback layup with 2.7 seconds left in the game to lift them to the 74-72 upset victory over the Bishops. Gray led the Bishops with 23 points, while senior Matt Jeske (Glen Ellyn, IL/Glenbard South) added 19 points and junior Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) finished with a team-high 12 rebounds.
WABASH overcame Greenville’s run-and-gun style of play in a 119-94 victory on Wednesday, but the Little Giants couldn’t maintain the momentum as they dropped a 74-52 decision against Wooster on Saturday. In the victory over Greenville, the Little Giants broke a school record with 53 made field goals, led by senior Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) scoring a game-high 36 points after shooting 80 percent (16-of-20) from the field. Purvlicis then went on to lead Wabash with 14 points in the loss against Wooster on Saturday.
WITTENBERG knocked off Denison, 75-68, in its only action last week. Senior Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) finished the game two rebounds shy of a double-double with 22 points and eight rebounds, while sophomore Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) contributed 14 points and four assists in the seven-point victory.
WOOSTER, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, used a 16-0 run in the first half to build a 16-point halftime lead, and after weathering a Wabash run early in the second half, the Fighting Scots pulled away for the 74-52 victory over the Little Giants. Sophomore guard Spencer Williams (Bedford, OH/Orange) scored eight of his game-high 18 points in the first five minutes as the Scots built a 15-6 lead early on. In addition, freshman Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood) came off the bench and scored a season-high 12 points in 24 minutes of action.