With the league portion of the NCAC Men’s Basketball season now in full swing, Denison (2-0, 6-0) holds a half-game lead at the top of the standings over both Wittenberg (1-0, 4-1) and Ohio Wesleyan (1-0, 3-3). There is a full slate of league games this week with five games each on both Wednesday and Saturday, led by Hiram (0-0, 1-4) hosting Wooster (2-1, 4-2) on Wednesday night and Denison traveling to Wittenberg on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY saw its recent winless skid reach four-straight following a pair of home losses against Carnegie Mellon, 71-58, and Wittenberg, 89-69. In the league loss against Wittenberg, the Gators connected on 14-of-29 attempts from beyond the arc for their highest three-point total in a game in four years. Freshman guard Zack Pateras (Pittsburgh, PA/Upper St. Clair) led the effort from long range against the Tigers by hitting 3-of-5 attempts from beyond the arc and finishing with a career-high 11 points.
DENISON opened up league play with a pair of wins against No. 11 Wooster, 65-59, and local-rival Kenyon, 67-57. Senior post Jett Speelman (Granville, OH/Newark Catholic) notched his first double-double of the season against the Scots with 25 points and 10 rebounds, while junior point guard Garrett Collier (McLean, VA/Langley) led the Big Red with 14 points and seven boards against the Lords.
DEPAUW suffered an 84-71 setback against Ohio Wesleyan in its only action last week. Junior forward Jack VandeMerkt (Riverside, IL/Riverside Brookfield) came one rebound shy of tallying his third double-double of the season after finishing the game with 18 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
HIRAM lost its fourth-straight non-conference game following an 89-77 loss against Mount Union. The Terriers fell victim to a hot-shooting Purple Raider squad that shot 47 percent (31-of-66) from the field and a blistering 55 percent (12-of-22) from three-point range. Junior forward Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) produced his fifth-straight double-double to open the season with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
KENYON dropped its NCAC-opener at local-rival Denison on Saturday by a 67-58 margin. The Lords went on a late 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 55-51 with just under five minutes left, but DU regained control over the final minutes to pick up the nine-point win. Three KC players scored in double figures in the loss, led by sophomore guard Matt Shifrin (Wilton, CT/Wilton) finishing the game with 15 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
OBERLIN suffered a pair of non-conference road losses last week at Muskingum, 87-73, and NCAA Division I Youngstown State, 87-72. After hitting 11 first-half three-pointers, the Yeomen trailed YSU by just two at the half, 43-41, but the Penguins pulled away in the second half to collect the 15-point win. The Yeomen finished the game with a season-high 16 triples, led by senior Nathan Cohen (San Francisco, CA/Urban) hitting 4-of-9 three-point attempts for a team-high 12 points.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which is receiving votes in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, dropped its third-straight non-conference game last Tuesday against Otterbein, 72-66, before opening league play with a convincing 84-71 win at DePauw on Saturday. Senior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest), who did notch a double-double against Otterbein with 10 points and 12 rebounds, paced the Bishops in the win over DPU with 25 points and eight boards after shooting 10-of-13 from the field, which included a 5-of-7 clip from beyond the arc.
WABASH opened the week with an 83-39 setback at NCAA Div. I Evansville on Wednesday, before returning home on Saturday and suffering a narrow 66-62 loss against No. 11 Wooster. Sophomore guard Duncan Roy (Washington, IN/Barre Reeve) led the Little Giants with 13 points and six rebounds against the Purple Aces, while freshman guard Colten Garland (Washington, IN/Washington) had a breakout game against Wooster with a season-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field.
WITTENBERG ran its winning streak to four-straight with a pair of victories against Capital, 63-60, and Allegheny, 89-69. Senior guard Shane Edwards (Perrysburg, OH/Perrysburg), who scored seven points in the win over Capital, came one rebound shy of a double-double against the Gators with 17 points and nine boards. In addition, senior guard Cody Phillippi (Xenia, OH/Xenia) finished the two-game stretch with 37 points after shooting 11-of-24 from the field and 6-of-12 from three-point range.
WOOSTER, ranked 11th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, split a pair of league games, dropping a 65-59 decision against Denison on Wednesday, before collecting a 66-62 win at Wabash on Saturday. In the win over the Little Giants, junior guard Spencer Williams (Warrensville Hts., OH/Orange) scored all 13 of his points in the second half, while senior guard Milt Davis (Cincinnati, OH/Colerain) sealed the four-point victory by hitting a pair of free throws with just 12.1 seconds left in the game.