North Coast men’s basketball teams combined for a 16-8 record against non-conference opponents over the two-week holiday break stretch, highlighted by Hiram, Oberlin, Wittenberg and Wooster all going 2-0 at mid season events. The league portion of the schedule resumes this week with seven total games on the slate, led by OWU hosting Denison on Wednesday and Hiram traveling to Wittenberg on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY lost a pair of non-conference games over the break against La Roche, 72-63, and Grove City, 75-63. Sophomore Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) led all scorers against La Roche with 27 points, while freshman Lamar Todd (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) stuffed the stat sheet against Grove City with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists.
DENISON dropped a 93-64 decision against Ohio Northern on December 20th, but closed out 2017 with an 82-69 win over Chicago on New Year’s Eve. Senior wing Maxwell Siwik (Broadview Hts., OH/Walsh Jesuit) posted the first double-double of his DU career in the win over UC with career-highs in both points (24) and rebounds (11).
DEPAUW saw its string of eight straight Tampa Bay Shootout titles come to an end as Heidelberg topped the Tigers by a 69-65 margin in the championship game. DPU advanced to the title game with a 70-64 win over Hampden-Sydney. Junior guard Riley Doody (Chicago, IL/St. Ignatius) earned a spot on the all-tournament team after finishing the two-game stretch with 12 points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists.
HIRAM made the most of its holiday break with a trio of wins by an average margin of victory of 14.6 points per game. The Terriers opened the break with a 79-61 home win over Bluffton on December 20th, before going 2-0 at the Land of Magic Classic in Daytona, Florida, with wins over Wilkes, 94-85, and Ithaca, 81-64. The starting unit accounted for 77 of the 81 points against Ithaca, led by freshman guard Jalen Kirksey (Massillon, OH/Washington) tallying a career-high 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the field, while senior Isaiah Matthews (Orlando, FL/Eastridge) picked up his first-career double-double in the win over Ithaca with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
KENYON lost a pair of games at Albright College’s Crown Plaza Holiday Tournament against TCNJ, 87-70, and PSU-Harrisburg, 83-59. Junior guard Matt Shifrin (Wilton, CT/Wilton) led the Lords with 15 points against TCNJ, while sophomore forward Ben Stern (Arlington, VA/Flint Hill) poured in a team-high 18 against PSU-Harrisburg.
OBERLIN won its own Holiday Classic by topping Chatham, 61-47, in the semis and outlasting Muskingum, 111-104, in the title game. Sophomore Joshua Friedkin (Emeryville, CA/Albany) and junior Eli Silverman-Lloyd (Culver City, CA/Windward) were each named to the all-tournament team for the Yeomen. Silverman-Lloyd scored a career-high 31 points in the title game against the Muskies, while Friedkin scored 13 points and dished out five assists against Chatham.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked ninth in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, split a pair of games against top-10 opponents as part of the D3hoops.com Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Bishops routed No. 6 Ramapo, 98-69, on December 28th, before dropping a heartbreaking 92-90 decision against No. 1 Whitman on December 30th. OWU broke several records in the win over Ramapo after knocking down 25 of 53 three-point attempts in the 29-point win. The 25 trifectas broke the previous school record of 23 set against DePauw in 2017 and tied the NCAC mark set by Wooster against Cabrini in 2006. The 53 attempts from long distance also broke the school record of 50 set against Lynchburg in 2016, while the three-point percentage of .472 broke the school record for 50 or more attempts which also came against Lynchburg.
WABASH closed out the 2017 portion of its schedule with a pair of home wins over Chicago, 62-58, and Franklin, 74-66. The Little Giants also started the holiday break with a 76-65 setback at Rose-Hulman. Freshman guard Jack Davidson (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) averaged 16.0 points per game over the three-game stretch, which included a 26-point showing against Franklin, while sophomore post Harrison Hallstrom (Naperville, IL/Central) notched his third double-double of the season in the loss against RHIT with 15 points and 11 rebounds.
WITTENBERG, ranked 17th in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, improved to 11-0 on the season with an 89-85 win at Heidelberg on December 20th, before earning the title at its own Holiday Classic with victories over OU Chillicothe, 95-46, and No. 25 Marietta, 83-70. Senior post Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) scored a season-high 21 points against Heidelberg, before being named the MVP of the Holiday Classic after scoring 34 points and pulling down 15 rebounds in the two-game stretch. In the three games combined, he shot 22-of-33 from the field and a near perfect 10-of-11 from the free throw line.
WOOSTER upped its winning streak to six with a trio of wins over the holiday break. The Scots opened the break by winning the inaugural Mauro Panaggio Tournament with an 81-67 win over SUNY-Brockport in Daytona Beach, Florida, before going 2-0 at the 55th annual E.M. “Mose” Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic with wins over WPI, 76-75, and Emory & Henry, 77-68. The Scots erased a 17-point second half deficit against WPI and finally took their first lead of the game with :01.0 seconds left on a free throw from junior Eric Bulic (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick). In addition, senior guard Spencer Williams (Warrensville Hts., OH/Orange) picked up a pair of MVP awards over the break after scoring 68 total points on 25-of-45 shooting from the field.