The 2017-18 NCAC Basketball season kicked off last week with every league team playing at least one game, highlighted by Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan sweeping both Albion and Trine as part of the NCAC/MIAA Challenge in Gambier, Ohio. There are 13 total games on the schedule this week, led by Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg squaring off against both Capital and Otterbein as part of the NCAC/OAC Challenge.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of games at its sixth annual Greg Richards ‘08 Memorial Classic, falling against Houghton, 63-60, in the opener, before regrouping with a 75-54 win over in-state rival Washington & Jefferson. After nearly missing out on a double-double against Houghton with 11 points and eight rebounds, sophomore forward Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) hit the mark against the Presidents with 23 points and 11 boards, which included shooting 9-of-13 from the field and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
DENISON kicked off the season with a 76-69 home win over Otterbein, before splitting a pair of games over the weekend in Virginia at the Mary Washington Hyatt Place Tipoff. The Big Red upset No. 23 Cabrini, 90-70, in the semifinals and dropped a 70-57 decision against host Mary Washington in the finals. Senior guard Garrett Collier (McLean, VA/Langley) posted a double-double against Otterbein with 12 rebounds and a career-high 18 points, while classmate Maxwell Siwik (Broadview Hts., OH/Walsh Jesuit) came off the bench against Cabrini and led the Big Red with 19 points, which included nailing 4-of-7 three-point attempts.
DEPAUW posted a 90-72 win over Franklin in its home opener on Wednesday, but the Tigers dropped two games over the weekend at the Lee Pfund Classic in Illinois against Wheaton (IL), 80-59, and No. 11 Wis.-River Falls, 72-69 (OT). Senior guard David Vogel (Bluffton, IN/Norwell), who scored a career-high 22 against Franklin, was named to the All-Tournament team at Wheaton after combining for 30 points and 11 rebounds in the two tournament games.
HIRAM dropped an 81-68 decision at Saint Vincent in its season opener on Saturday. Senior Paul Ortiz (Canton, OH/McKinley) paced the Terriers with 13 points, while classmate Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) just missed out on a double-double with nine points and nine boards.
KENYON opened the season with a 95-81 road win at Earlham and then followed it up with a pair of home wins over Albion, 61-42, and Trine, 68-55, as part of the NCAC/MIAA Challenge. It marks the first 3-0 start for the Lords since the 1995-96 campaign. During the run, seniors Bennett Grigull (London, England/Kimball Union) and Philip Crampton (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) both averaged 12 points per game, while classmate Alex Laub (Sleepy Hollow, NY/Sleepy Hollow) averaged 10.7 points a game and came just one rebound shy of a double-double against both Earlham (12 pts, 9 rbs) and Trine (13 pts, 9 rbs).
OBERLIN started the season by giving Wooster a scare, but the Yeomen ultimately fell against the Scots by a 70-64 margin. The Yeomen bounced back over the weekend with a pair of home wins against Franciscan, 66-51, and Earlham, 81-80. Sophomore guard Joshua Friedkin (Emeryville, CA/Albany) poured in a career-high 23 points against the Scots, before adding 21 more against Earlham, which included sinking the game-winning three-pointer with just one second left on the clock.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, picked up a pair of wins at Kenyon over the weekend over Trine, 99-96, and Albion, 98-60, as part of the NCAC/MIAA Challenge. Senior guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) led the Bishops against Trine with 34 points and seven rebounds, while sophomore Grant Gossard (Westerville, OH/Olentangy Orange) finished with 19 points and four rebounds against Albion.
WABASH finished fourth at the 34th annual Lopata Classic in St. Louis with a 82-70 loss against host and ninth-ranked WashU and a narrow 93-91 overtime setback against Webster. Freshman guard Jack Davidson (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) earned a spot on the all-tournament team after scoring 42 points and shooting 12-of-25 from the field and 5-of-11 from beyond the arc in the two games combined.
WITTENBERG picked up a pair of wins at the Great Lakes Invitational in Marietta, Ohio, against Mt. St. Joseph, 78-74, and Birmingham-Southern, 86-63. Senior center Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) was named to the all-tournament team after scoring 18 points and pulling down six boards against MSJ, before adding 14 points and seven rebounds against BSC.
WOOSTER, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, won both of its contests in the 2017 Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic, which included a 70-64 victory over upset-minded Oberlin in the season- and league-opener for both squads. The Scots then knocked off Medaille, 86-76, to cap off the sweep on Saturday. Over the course of the two games, junior guard Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood) shot 16-of-20 from the field en route to 37 total points, while classmate Blake Blair (Dover, OH/Dover) posted a double-double in his first collegiate start with 13 points and 10 rebounds against Medaille.