Following the first weekend of play in the 2016-17 NCAC Men’s Basketball season, four league teams hold perfect records, including Allegheny (3-0, 0-0), Denison (2-0, 0-0), Ohio Wesleyan (0-0, 2-0) and Wooster (1-0, 2-0). Conference teams return to the court this week with games scheduled on six different days, highlighted by a pair of games on Wednesday in Delaware as part of the NCAC/OAC Challenge that feature Wittenberg taking on Otterbein at 6:00 p.m. and Ohio Wesleyan entertaining Capital for an 8:00 p.m. tip-off.
ALLEGHENY opened up the season with a perfect 3-0 record with wins against Grove City, 63-59, SUNY-New Paltz, 72-60, and Earlham, 66-63. Freshman Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) averaged 18.0 points and 8.0 rebounds over the three-game stretch, led by a 33-point, 10-rebound effort in the win over New Paltz, marking the first 30-point game by a Gator in five seasons.
DENISON posted a pair of non-conference victories over Wash. & Jeff., 96-84, and Ohio Northern, 85-73, to kick off the season. Senior guard David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) paced the Big Red against W&J with 23 points and eight assists, while senior post Bret Woolard (Newark, OH/Newark) came off the bench against ONU and scored 25 points to lead DU in the 12-point win.
DEPAUW dropped a pair of season-opening games against Franklin, 86-74, and Washington (MO), 84-77. Despite the losses, senor guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) scored 56 points over the two games combined, including a 34-point effort against Franklin, to become the 26th player in program history to surpass 1,000 career points.
HIRAM opened the season with a 93-71 victory over Saint Vincent behind a 61 percent shooting effort from the field, before dropping a 90-86 overtime decision against Bluffton on Saturday. Junior Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) led the Terriers in the win over SVC with 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, before pouring in a career-high 31 points and pulling down 13 rebounds in the loss against Bluffton.
KENYON suffered an 85-60 decision against Muskungum on Tuesday, before dropping a pair of single-digit contests over the weekend in Indiana against Trine, 72-64, and Albion, 85-84. Junior guard Alexander Powell (Greenville, SC/St. Joseph) led the Lords on the week with 40 points, which included back-to-back 16-point performances against Trine and Albion.
OBERLIN turned in a 1-1 record last week, dropping its season-opener against No. 7 Wooster, 104-65, before bouncing back with a hard-fought 70-68 home victory over Alfred State on Sunday. Senior Jack Poyle (Avon, OH/Avon), who led the Yeomen with 21 points against Alfred State, hit a running jumper with 1.6 seconds left in the game to give Oberlin the two-point win over the Pioneers.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked eighth in the D3hoops.com Top-25, notched a pair of wins last weekend at the Trine St. Andrews Products Classic against Albion, 91-77, and the host Thunder, 79-72. Three different players eclipsed the 20-point mark in the win over Albion, which included a career-high 20-point performance from junior wing Will Orr (Johnstown, OH/Johnstown-Monroe). Orr then buried seven three-pointers in the win over Trine to re-set his career-high scoring mark with 21 points. In the two wins combined, Orr shot a scorching 57 percent (13-of-23) from three-point range.
WABASH lost its home-opener against Blackburn, 75-66, before splitting a pair of games over the weekend at the Birmingham-Southern Black Tie Classic. The Little Giants opened the classic with a 77-72 win over Rust, before dropping a 72-65 decision against the host Panthers on Sunday. Freshman guard Colten Garland (Washington, IN/Washington) has jumped out to a good start in his collegiate career with 41 points over the first three games, which included an 18-point effort in the win over Rust.
WITTENBERG split a pair of games at the Gettysburg Tip-Off Classic last weekend, falling to Alvernia, 67-66, on Friday night, before picking up a convincing 74-51 win over the host Bullets on Saturday. In the win over Gettysburg, senior wing Landon Hormann (West Liberty, OH/Salem) led the Tigers with 21 points and nine rebounds, while sophomore guard Ryan Gallimore (Loveland, OH/Milford) was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 28 against Alvernia and adding another 14 in the win over Gettysburg. Gallimore combined to shoot 58 percent (15-of-26) from the field in the two games combined, which included a 7-of-16 clip from beyond the arc.
WOOSTER, ranked seventh in the D3hoops.com Top-25, won both of its contests at the 2016 Al Van Wie/Rotary Classic against Oberlin, 104-65, and Defiance, 98-63. Senior forward Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green) set the Al Van Wie/Rotary Classic record for field-goal percentage after he finished the two-game stretch by hitting 14-of-17 shot attempts, which included a perfect 10-for-10 outing against Defiance. Fanelly’s 25 points on 10-of-10 shooting against Defiance was also just one made field goal away from tying the NCAC single-game record for field goal percentage (11-for-11), which has been accomplished twice in history by a pair of Wooster players. Brian Buchanan first achieved the feat against Allegheny in 1993, before John Ellenwood matched his effort, also against the Gators in 2000.