There was minimal NCAC Men’s Basketball action last week; however, Ohio Wesleyan (4-0, 6-3) jumped into a tie with No. 16 Denison (4-0, 8-1) for the top spot in the league standings following a 96-85 win over Kenyon (1-3, 2-6) on Saturday. Several teams will be competing in tournaments over the holiday break, highlighted by Wittenberg (1-2, 4-3) hosting a Holiday Classic, Wooster (3-2, 5-4) hosting the “Mose” Hole/Kiwanis Classic and DePauw (2-2, 4-5) hosting its annual Tampa Bay Shootout in Florida. The league portion of the 2016-17 schedule picks back up in earnest on the first week in January, led by Denison hosting Ohio Wesleyan on January 5th and Wittenberg traveling to Hiram (2-2, 3-6) on January 7th.
DENISON, ranked 16th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, saw its historic start to the 2016-17 season hit a snag last week with an 84-75 loss at Capital on Wednesday night. Senior post Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) paced the Big Red in the loss with 23 points and eight rebounds, while classmate David Meurer (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) also reached double figures with 18 points on 7-of-16 shooting from the field.
DEPAUW senior guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) scored a game-high 27 points and hit a three-pointer with 5.5 seconds left in regulation to lift the Tigers to a 96-90 overtime victory over Hiram on Sunday afternoon. After sending the game into overtime with his last-second three, Lattner then scored eight of DPU’s 14 points in OT to clinch the six-point home win over the Terriers.
HIRAM suffered a pair of six-point road losses last weekend, falling 58-52 at Wabash on Saturday night, before dropping a 96-90 overtime affair at DePauw on Sunday afternoon. Junior center Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) paced the Terriers in the two-game stretch with 34 points and 18 rebounds after shooting 10-of-17 from the field and 14-of-21 from the free throw line.
KENYON received game-highs of 21 points and six rebounds from junior Phillip Crampton (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand), but that wasn’t enough as Ohio Wesleyan rang up a 96-75 home win over the Lords on Saturday.
OHIO WESLEYAN built a 17-point lead midway through the second half and withstood a late Kenyon rally to post a 96-85 home win over the Lords. Senior guard Jon Griggs (Cincinnati, OH/Indian Hill), who scored OWU’s first nine points of the game, checked in with a career-high 16 points, while junior guard Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) finished one assist shy of a double-double with 21 points and nine assists.
WABASH rode a 16-point halftime lead to an eventual 58-52 home win over Hiram on Saturday night. Freshman guard Colten Garland (Washington, IN/Washington) scored all of his game-high 21 points in the first half, while sophomore forward Logan White (Avon, IN/Avon) notched his fourth double-double of the season with 17 points and 13 rebounds. White played all but two minutes of the game and score nine of his 17 points in the second half to help the Little Giants secure the six-point win.
WOOSTER dropped an 80-79 non-conference classic at No. 3 Whitman on Sunday afternoon in Walla Walla, Washington. The Scots had the ball last with two chances to win the game, but both last-second shot attempts fell short against the Blues. Despite the loss, junior forward Alex Baptiste (Allonnes, France/Wasatch Academy, UT) had a career day for Wooster with 17 points and 17 rebounds.