Through the first two weeks of NCAC Men’s Basketball action, Denison (0-0, 4-0) remains the only unbeaten team in the league, while Wooster (1-0, 3-1) and Wittenberg (0-0, 2-1) have each dropped one non-conference game. Five conference games highlight the schedule this week, led by Wooster hosting Denison on Wednesday night and Ohio Wesleyan (0-0, 2-2) traveling to DePauw (0-0, 2-3) on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY suffered its first two losses of the season last week against Thiel, 70-59, and PSU-Behrend, 56-55. A pair of rookies shined for the Gators in the one-point loss against PSU-Behrend, with Jamison Nee (Natrona Hts., PA/Highlands) scoring a career-high 23 points and Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) logging his second double-double of the season with 12 points and 14 rebounds .
DENISON continued its perfect start to the season with a pair of wins against Case, 85-75, and Otterbein, 65-59. Senior post Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) led the Big Red in both wins with 23 points against Case and 19 against Otterbein. In the two wins combined, he shot 68 percent (13-of-19) from the field, 60 percent (3-for-5) from three-point range and 93 percent (13-for-14) from the free throw line.
DEPAUW opened the week with a 98-58 home win over Boyce, before splitting a pair of games over the weekend at the UChicago Tournament. The Tigers picked up an 86-77 win over East-West University in the semifinals on Saturday, before dropping a 78-56 decision to the host Maroons on Sunday. Senior guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) and junior forward Jack VandeMerkt (Riverside, IL/Brookfield) were both named to the UChicago All-Tournament Team.
HIRAM dropped a pair of single-digit losses in non-conference action last week against La Roche, 78-71, and Geneva, 90-87. The Terriers did erase double-digit, second-half deficits in both matchups before ultimately falling by the narrow margins. Despite the losses, junior forward Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) continued his torrid start to the season by averaging 29.5 points and 13.0 rebounds over the two games combined, highlighted by a 31-point, 15-rebound effort in the loss against La Roche.
KENYON picked up an 83-63 win in its home-opener last week against Earlham. Junior Phillip Crampton (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) scored a career-high 25 points in the win, while classmate Alexander Powell (Greenville, SC/St. Joseph) matched his career-best performance with 22 points.
OBERLIN dropped a pair of games at its own Thanksgiving Classic against Kalamazoo, 74-70, and Illinois Institute of Technology, 95-82. Senior Nathan Cohen (San Francisco, CA/Urban School) matched a career-high with 23 points against Kalamazoo, while freshman Joshua Freidkin (Emeryville, CA/Albany) and sophomore Eric Holt (Atherton, CA/Harker School) each had career-highs against IIT with 18 and 15 points, respectively.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked eighth in the D3hoops.com Preseason Top-25, lost a pair of games last week against local-rival Capital, 82-76, and Illinois Wesleyan, 88-70. Senior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) led OWU with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Capital, while junior guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) paced the Bishops with 14 points against IWU.
WABASH outscored Rose-Hulman by a 42-27 margin in the second half en route to picking up a 69-53 home victory over the Fightin’ Engineers on Sunday. Four different players scored in double-figures for the Little Giants, led by sophomore post Evan Frank (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) scoring a team-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field. In addition, sophomore post Logan White (Avon, IN/Avon) added his second double-double of the season in the win with 10 points and 14 rebounds.
WITTENBERG topped Otterbein, 56-49, in the first leg of the NCAC/OAC Challenge last Tuesday in Delaware, Ohio. The Tigers used a balanced scoring attack in the seven-point victory with four different players scoring nine or more points, led by sophomore guard Ryan Gallimore (Loveland, OH/Milford) posting a team-high 12 points.
WOOSTER, ranked seventh in the D3hoops.com Preseason Top-25, dropped a 99-70 contest at No. 17 Marietta on Wednesday, before bouncing back with an 85-75 home win over Saint John Fisher on Sunday. In his first-career start on Sunday against SJF, freshman guard Danyon Hempy (Waldo, OH/River Valley) scored a game-high 25 points after shooting 9-of-12 from the field, which included a perfect 2-of-2 mark from beyond the arc.