With just two weeks left in the North Coast men’s basketball season, Wooster (12-2, 16-5) and nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (12-2, 19-2) are deadlocked at the top of the league standings, while Hiram (9-5, 15-6) sits alone in third and Wittenberg (8-6, 13-8) rounds out the top four. Teams will continue to jockey for position in the conference standings this week with 10 games on the slate, led by Denison (7-7, 12-9) traveling to Kenyon (5-9, 8-13) on Wednesday night and Wooster hosting arch-rival Wittenberg on Saturday evening.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of games in Indiana last weekend, topping DePauw, 59-54, before falling to Wabash by an 81-56 margin. Allegheny trailed DPU, 51-40, with just under nine minutes left on the clock, but the Gators closed out the game on a 19-3 run to secure the five-point victory. Junior Conor Macomber (Beverly, MA/St. John’s Prep) scored a career-high 20 points in the win, which included sinking the game-winning jumper with 26 seconds left.
DENISON opened play last week with a 69-65 win over Oberlin, but the Big Red fell just short against Wooster, 82-75. In the four-point win over Oberlin, junior David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) came off the bench and produced 16 points, four assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes of action, while classmate Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) paced the Big Red with 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field, which included a perfect 4-of-4 clip from three-point range.
DEPAUW dropped a pair of games against Allegheny, 59-54, and Hiram, 72-65. In the loss against Hiram, sophomore Cris Burrough (Carmel, IN/Guerin Catholic) scored seven points and pulled down a career-high eight rebounds.
HIRAM went a perfect 2-0 in Indiana with an 84-72 triumph over Wabash and a 72-65 victory over DePauw. Senior Ray Gaston (Warren, OH/John F. Kennedy) poured in a career-high 21 points in the victory over the Little Giants, while sophomore Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) posted his fifth double-double of the season against DPU with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
KENYON got a career-best 20-point performance from sophomore Alexander Powell (Greenville, SC/St. Joseph) on Wednesday, but it wasn’t enough as the Lords fell to Wooster by a final score of 101-88. KC then dropped a 72-57 decision against No. 10 Ohio Wesleyan despite an 18-point, five-rebound performance from senior Tim Connolly (San Francisco, CA/Stuart Hall).
OBERLIN rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit and got within two of Denison with 1:28 left, but it wasn’t enough to complete the comeback in a 69-65 loss against the Big Red. The Yeomen then scored their lowest point total of the season in a 63-43 loss against Wittenberg. Senior forward Matt Walker (Los Angeles, CA/Winward School) netted his first-career double-double in the loss against DU with 13 points and 11 rebounds.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 10th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, used a 17-0 first-half run to pull away from Wittenberg in an 87-66 victory on Wednesday, before tallying a 72-57 triumph over Kenyon on Saturday. Sophomore guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) topped the 20-point scoring mark in back-to-back games for the second time this season after netting 23 against Wittenberg and 21 against Kenyon. In the two games combined, he shot 59 percent (16-of-27) from the field, 59 percent (10-of-17) from three-point range and a perfect 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
WABASH was upended by Hiram, 84-72, on Friday, before returning to the court the very next day and posting an 81-58 victory over visiting Allegheny. The Little Giants trailed the Gators, 35-33, at half, but they more than doubled AC’s scoring output in the second half en route to the 23-point victory. Senior forward Daniel Purvlicis (Noblesville, IN/Noblesville) put together one of his best two-game stretches of the season as he combined for 53 points (26.5 ppg) and 13 rebounds (6.5 rpg), while also shooting a blistering 78 percent (25-of-32) from the field.
WITTENBERG dropped an 87-66 decision against No. 10 Ohio Wesleyan, before snapping its short three-game losing skid with a 63-43 victory at Oberlin. In the win over the Yeomen, senior forward Alex Fultz (Cincinnati, OH/Glen Este) and junior guard Cody Phillippi (Xenia, OH/Xenia) shared the scoring lead with 13 points apiece, while junior Shane Edwards (Perrysburg, OH/Perrysburg) dominated on the glass for the Tigers with a game-high 10 rebounds.
WOOSTER, which appears in the “Others Receiving Votes” portion of the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, used a 20-4 second-half surge to pull away from Kenyon, 101-88, on Wednesday, before erasing a 12-point, second-half deficit against Denison in an 82-75 comeback victory on Saturday. Freshman guard Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood) established his career-high in scoring twice last week with 17 points against the Lords and a game-high 18 against the Big Red. During the second-half comeback against DU, Dupler made 5-of-6 field goal attempts, while also collecting three rebounds and handing out one assist.