After two weeks of play in the 2017-18 basketball season, seven NCAC men’s teams hold overall records of .500 or better, highlighted by Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg both sitting at 4-0 after both squads swept Capital and Otterbein last week as part of the NCAC/OAC Challenge. The league portion of the schedule begins in earnest this week with seven total games on the slate, led by Wittenberg hosting Oberlin on Wednesday night and Denison traveling to Kenyon on Saturday afternoon.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of non-conference games last week, edging Geneva, 65-61, on Tuesday, before falling at PSU-Behrend on Saturday by a 75-45 margin. In the win over Geneva, sophomore Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Allderdice) scored 19 of his game-high 27 points in the second half to help the Gators erase a 10-point deficit with 12 minutes left in the game and post the four-point win.
DENISON picked up a 74-69 win over Case on Tuesday night in Cleveland in its only action last week. DU trailed by eight, 56-48, with 8:02 left in the game, but the Big Red went on a 15-0 run over the next four minutes and held on down the stretch for the five-point victory. Junior Maxwell Siwik (Broadview Hts., OH/Walsh Jesuit) led the Big Red with 18 points after shooting 7-for-13 from the field and 3-for-5 from long distance.
HIRAM split two non-conference games last week, dropping a 101-83 decision at La Roche on Tuesday, before knocking off Geneva, 78-55, at home on Saturday. Senior Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) picked up his first double-double of the season in the loss against La Roche with 14 points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore forward Brevin Dye (Bedford Hts., OH/Trinity) added 15 points against La Roche and a career-high 17 in the win over Geneva. In the two games combined, Dye shot 60 percent (12-for-20) from the field, which included knocking down 7-of-14 attempts from three-point rang.
OBERLIN won the 2017 RIT Harold J. Brodie Tournament with an 80-77 come-from-behind victory over SUNY-Cobleskill in the semifinals and a 75-52 win over host RIT in the championship game. Sophomore Andre Campbell (San Francisco, CA/Urban) and Christian Fioretti (Menlo Park, CA/Menlo-Atherton) were both named to the all-tournament team with Campbell earning MVP honors after averaging 14.0 points and 6.0 rebounds over the two games, while also shooing 61.1 percent (11-for-18) from the field.
OHIO WESLEYAN, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, kept its perfect record intact last week with a pair of wins over Otterbein, 81-59, and Capital, 87-70, as part of the NCAC/OAC Challenge. In the win over Otterbein, the Bishops did not allow an opposing player to reach double digits in scoring for the first time since also accomplishing the feat against Capital in the 2011-12 season. Senior guard Seth Clark (Lewis Center, OH/Olentangy) was one rebound shy of a double-double against Otterbein with 28 points and nine boards, while classmate Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) came one assist shy of a double-double against Capital with 26 points and nine helpers.
WITTENBERG also ran its record to 4-0 last week in the NCAC/OAC Challenge with a 79-77 home win over Capital on Tuesday and an 80-71 win at Otterbein on Sunday. With the score tied at 77 against Capital and Wittenberg inbounding the ball under the Crusaders basket with two seconds left, freshman Rashaad Ali-Shakir (Cincinnati, OH/Purcell Marian) heaved a baseball pass the length of the floor that sophomore Jacob Bertemes (Springfield, OH/Southeastern) pulled down with a leaping grab and in one motion spun toward the basket for the game-winning layup as time expired. Senior post Chad Roy (Toledo, OH/Holland Springfield) notched a double-double against Capital with 13 points and 11 rebounds, before adding six more boards and a season-high 20 points against the Cardinals.
WOOSTER, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, dropped a 90-57 decision at No. 19 St. John Fisher on Tuesday night, but the Scots rebounded in a big way with an 87-79 home win over No. 4 Hanover on Saturday. It was an all out block party in Timken Gymnasium on Saturday against Hanover as the Scots combined for 12 total blocks in the upset win, marking the most blocks in a game since the Scots also tallied a dozen against Allegheny on January 26, 2005. Junior forward Eric Bulic (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick) led the way by denying five total shots, while junior guard Reece Dupler (Newark, OH/Lakewood) paced the Scots in the scoring column in the victory with 23 points on 11-of-14 shooting from the field.