With just one week left in the North Coast men’s basketball regular season, Ohio Wesleyan (14-2, 17-6) has grabbed sole possession of first-place in the league standings following a pair of wins against Hiram (7-9, 10-13) and Wooster (13-3, 16-7). There are several marquee matchups on the schedule this week that will have a direct impact on the seeds for the 2017 NCAC Men’s Basketball Tournament, highlighted by Wittenberg (11-5, 17-6) hosting OWU on Wednesday night and Wooster hosting Wittenberg on Saturday evening.
ALLEGHENY suffered a pair of losses last week against Wooster, 95-49, and No. 23 Denison, 98-78. Rookie Jamison Nee (Natrona Hts., PA/Highlands) was the lone Allegheny player to score in double figures against Wooster with 12 points, while senior Evan Zabriski (Jupiter, FL/Jupiter) was one rebound shy of a double-double against the Big Red with 19 points and nine rebounds.
DENISON, ranked 23rd in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, got back in the win column last week with a pair of road wins at DePauw, 70-62, and Allegheny, 98-78. At 19-4 overall, the Big Red have matched the highest win total in program history, while the senior class now holds the school record for career wins with 61. Senior Matthew Bauer (Winnetka, IL/Loyola Acad.) notched his fourth double-double of the season against DPU with 20 points and 11 boards. The Big Red then shot 16-of-37 from long distance against the Gators, highlighted by senior wing Andrew Castagnetti (Bethesda, MD/Walt Whitman) scoring a career-high 20 points on 5-of-10 shooting from three-point range.
DEPAUW dropped a 70-62 decision against No. 23 Denison on Wednesday, but the Tigers bounced back with a 73-68 win at Kenyon on Saturday. After trailing the Lords, 38-31, at halftime, senior guard Luke Lattner (Hinsdale, IL/Fenwick) scored all 21 of his points in the second half to lift DPU to the five-point win. Lattner also added a team-high 16 points in the midweek loss against the Big Red.
HIRAM dropped a pair of single-digit contests last week against Ohio Wesleyan, 71-62, and Wittenberg, 76-68. The Terriers have now lost by single digits in eight of their nine league losses this season. Junior center Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookfield) tallied his 12th double-double of the season in the loss against OWU with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Jeremiah Thomas (Cleveland, OH/John Hay) scored a career-high 22 points against the Tigers.
KENYON lost a pair of league games last week against Oberlin, 80-60, and DePauw, 73-68. Junior Bennett Grigull (London, England/Kimball Union Acad.) paced the Lords on the week with 31 points and 12 rebounds, highlighted by a 22-point, seven-rebound and three-assist performance against DPU.
OBERLIN snapped its 19-game winless skid with a convincing 80-60 home win over Kenyon on Wednesday, before suffering yet another heartbreaking loss on Saturday by a 65-59 margin at Wabash. Sophomore forward Andre Campbell (San Francisco, CA/Urban) shot 8-of-9 from the field against the Lords to finish with a game-high 17 points. He then had a career day in the loss against Wabash with 20 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field.
OHIO WESLEYAN regained the top spot in the league standings last week thanks to a pair of wins over Hiram, 71-62, and Wooster, 81-72. Senior post Ben Simpson (Lake Bluff, IL/Lake Forest) tallied his 12th double-double of the season in the win against Hiram with 19 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) added his second double-double of the season in the win over Wooster with 17 points and 10 boards.
WABASH split a pair of home games last week, starting with a 73-58 loss against Wittenberg and concluding with a narrow 65-59 win over Oberlin. Sophomore guard Ben Stachowski (Evansville, IN/Memorial) poured in 16 points on 4-of-6 shooting from long distance against Wittenberg, while sophomore Logan White (Avon, IN/Avon) was one rebound shy of his ninth double-double of the season in the win over Oberlin with 16 points and nine boards.
WITTENBERG extended its winning streak to seven-straight with a pair of wins last week against Wabash, 73-58, and Hiram, 76-68. In the win over Wabash, senior guard Cody Phillippi (Xenia, OH/Xenia) paced the Tigers with 16 points, highlighted by an 8-for-8 effort from the free throw line, while classmate Shane Edwards (Perrysburg, OH/Perrysburg) logged a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) then came off the bench agaist Hiram and erupted for a season-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field.
WOOSTER won its 10th-straight game with Wednesday’s 95-49 victory over Allegheny, marking the Scots’ 26th 10-game winning streak with head coach Steve Moore on the bench. The Scots then dropped an 81-72 decision at Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday to drop into a tie for second in the NCAC standings with Denison. Senior forward Dan Fanelly (Uniontown, OH/Green), who has scored at least 20 points in five-straight games, was nearly perfect from the field last week as he connected on 14-of-17 shot attempts, which included scoring 22 points on 5-of-5 shooting in just 14 minutes of action against the Gators.