Wooster (10-2, 14-5) pulled even with nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (10-2, 17-2) at the top of the North Coast men’s basketball standings following a dramatic 91-90 victory over the Bishops last week. With just three weeks left in the regular season, several races are starting to heat up for not only position in the conference standings, but also for a slot in the 2016 NCAC men’s basketball tournament. League action continues this week with 10 total games on the slate, led by Wittenberg (7-5, 12-7) traveling to OWU on Wednesday and Denison (6-6, 11-8) hosting Wooster on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY erased a 22-point deficit to pull within two of Hiram in the final minute, but it wasn’t enough as the Terriers escaped with a 67-62 victory. The Gators also dropped a 79-61 decision at home against Kenyon. Senior Evan Schweitzer (Bethel Park, PA/Bethel Park) notched his first-career double-double against Hiram with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
DENISON evened its conference record at 6-6 following a pair of victories over DePauw, 81-60, and Wittenberg, 69-59. After sinking six three-pointers in the victory over Wittenberg, senior Darius White (Columbus, OH/East) became the Big Red’s all-time leader in three pointers with 215 in 97 career games. Junior Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic), who logged his eighth 20-plus point performance of the season against DPU with 24 points, finished the week with 40 points after shooting 47 percent (14-of-30) from the field and 92 percent (11-of-12) from the free throw line.
DEPAUW split a pair of games last week, falling to Denison, 81-60, before rebounding with a 64-53 triumph over Oberlin. Three DPU players scored in double figures in the win over the Yeomen, led by junior Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) tallying 15 points on 4-of-8 shooting from the field and a 5-of-8 clip from the free throw line.
HIRAM staved off a late Allegheny rally to post a 67-62 victory over the Gators, but the Terriers couldn’t keep the momentum rolling as they suffered a 123-95 loss at No. 7 Ohio Wesleyan. Senior J.J. Woodson (Oakwood Village, OH/Bedford) paced the Terriers against the Gators with 24 points, six assists and five rebounds, while junior center Joe Caspio (Willowick, OH/Eastlake North) scored a career-high 16 points in the loss against OWU.
KENYON suffered a 76-59 loss against Oberlin, before ending its three-game winless skid with a 79-61 triumph over Allegheny. After being held in check against Oberlin, senior Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall) erupted for 27 points, eight assists and six rebounds in the win over Allegheny. Through 19 games, Connolly leads the league in scoring with 361 points (19.0 ppg) and is third overall in assists with 84.
OBERLIN shot 54 percent (13-of-24) from three-point land en route to defeating Kenyon, 76-59, but the Yeomen stumbled at home on Saturday in a 64-53 loss against DePauw. Junior guard Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon) poured in a game-high 21 points against the Lords after connecting on 5-of-8 shot attempts from long distance, while classmate Zach Meyers (Kalamazoo, MI/Mattawan) dropped in a career-best 19 points in the loss against the Tigers.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked seventh in the D3hoops.com Top-25, saw its eight-game winning streak snapped last week in a narrow 91-90 loss at Wooster. The Bishops got back in the win column on Saturday with a convincing 123-95 victory over Hiram. A pair of Branch Rickey Arena records fell in the win over Hiram as the 123 points scored was the most points scored by a team in the arena since the Bishops dropped 121 against Hiram on January 28, 2006. The Bishops also connected on 19-of-40 three-point attempts in the win, which broke the arena record of 18 set by OWU against Kenyon last February, and tied the school record which was established at Wittenberg on January 6, 2001.
WABASH earned just its third victory in school history at Wittenberg with a 69-54 triumph over the Tigers, but the Little Giants ran into a hot Wooster squad on Saturday and fell by a 90-66 margin. Freshman guard Ben Stachowski (Evansville, IN/Memorial) scored 12 points off the bench in the win over Wittenberg, which included a pair of key three-point baskets late in the second half to halt a rally by the Tigers. Stachowski then picked up his first-career double-double in the loss against Wooster with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
WITTENBERG lost back-to-back games for just the second time this season, falling to Wabash, 69-54, and Denison, 69-59. Junior guard Jaelin Williams (Springfield, OH/Shawnee) led the Tigers with 18 points against the Little Giants, before narrowly missing out on his third double-double of the season in the loss against Denison with 15 points and eight rebounds.
WOOSTER sophomore guard Spencer Williams (Bedford, OH/Orange) sank a pair of free throws with 0.7 seconds left in regulation to lift the Scots to a thrilling 91-90 victory over No. 7 Ohio Wesleyan. Wooster kept pace with OWU at the top of the NCAC standings on Saturday with a 90-66 victory over Wabash. Senior center Josh Kipfer (Wadsworth, OH/Wadsworth) posted his first double-double of the season against OWU 18 points and 10 rebounds. Williams, who scored 15 points in the win over OWU, finished the week with 32 points after shooting 48 percent (11-of-23) from the field and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.