Following the first full week of league play in NCAC men’s basketball, Denison and Wittenberg share the top spot in the standings with 2-0 records against conference foes, while Hiram, Ohio Wesleyan and Wabash each picked up victories in their openers. There are 10 league games on the schedule this week, led by Wabash hosting Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday and Wittenberg traveling to Denison on Saturday.
ALLEGHENY split a pair of games last week, earning a 78-63 non-conference win at Carnegie Mellon on Wednesday, before dropping an 83-62 decision at Wittenberg on Saturday. In the Gators’ first win over CMU since 1988, five different players scored in double figures, paced by junior guard Billy Urso (Pittsburgh, PA/Fox Chapel) with 18 after he knocked down 6-of-10 three-point attempts.
DENISON kicked off league play with a 2-0 record after knocking off Wooster, 75-61, and earning an 84-83 triple OT win at Kenyon. After leading coast-to-coast against Wooster, the Big Red got a three-ball from senior Maxwell Siwik (Broadview Hts., OH/Walsh Jesuit) with four seconds remaining in the first OT to send the game into the second OT session. DU, which last played a triple OT game on Dec. 2, 2006, ultimately prevailed against Kenyon after Phillip Crampton’s shot was off the mark in the final seconds. In the two games combined, senior guard Garrett Collier (McLean, VA/Langley) scored 31 points, pulled down 13 rebounds and dished out 11 assists, highlighted by a career-high 22-point performance in the win over Kenyon.
DEPAUW knocked off Rose-Hulman, 68-66, on Wednesday, before suffering a 105-71 loss at Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. Senior guard David Vogel (Bluffton, IN/Norwell) scored a career-high 25 points in the two-point win over RHIT after shooting 8-of-11 from the field, 5-of-6 from beyond the arc and a perfect 4-of-4 from the free throw line.
HIRAM went 1-1 last week, dropping a 78-70 decision at Mount Union, before earning its first league win of the year with an 86-73 victory at Oberlin. Senior center Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) notched a double-double against Mount Union with 23 points and 15 rebounds, before adding 25 points and eight more boards against the Yeomen. In the two games combined, Jones grabbed 23 total rebounds while shooting 18-of-27 from the field and 11-of-15 from the free throw line.
KENYON suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses last week, falling against Muskingum, 79-77, before dropping an 84-83 triple OT decision against rival Denison on Saturday. Sophomore Ben Stern (Arlington, VA/Flint Hill) scored a career-high 27 against the Muskies, while junior guard Matt Shifrin (Wilton, CT/Wilton) connected on seven three-pointers and scored a game-high 23 points in the one-point loss against the Big Red.
OBERLIN dropped a pair of league games last week against Wittenberg, 78-65, and Hiram, 86-73. Sophomore guard Joshua Friedkin (Emeryville, CA/Albany), who scored a career-high 28 against the Terriers, finished the week with 45 total points after shooting a blistering 10-of-16 from three-point range in the two games combined.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked 16th in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, opened play last week with a narrow 84-83 loss at No. 7 Hanover, but the Bishops bounced back on Saturday with a 105-71 win over DePauw. The Bishops set school records against DePauw in both made three-pointers and three-point shooting percentage after knocking down 23-of-48 attempts for a .479 shooting percentage. Senior guard Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman), who led the Bishops with five three-balls against the Tigers, finished the week with 53 points and 19 assists after shooting 21-of-36 from the field and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.
WABASH logged a pair of wins last week, opening with an 82-69 home win over Earlham, before notching its first road win at Wooster since 2011 with an 85-72 victory over the Scots. Freshman guard Jack Davidson (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) flirted with a triple-double in the win over Earlham with 35 points, 11 rebounds and six assists, before adding 17 points and seven boards in the win over Wooster. All five Wabash starters scored in double figures against the Scots, led by sophomore post Alex Eberhard (Evansville, IN/Memorial) with 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and a 10-of-11 clip from the charity stripe.
WITTENBERG kept its record unblemished last week with a pair of conference wins over Oberlin, 78-65, and Allegheny, 83-62. Sophomore forward Connor Seipel (Columbus, OH/Groveport Madison) came off the bench against Oberlin and led all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field in just 24 minutes of action, while junior guard Mitch Balser (Centerville, OH/Centerville) paced the Tigers with 16 points in the 21-point win over Allegheny.
WOOSTER, ranked 25th in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, lost a pair of league games last week against Denison, 75-61, and Wabash, 85-72. Junior forward Eric Bulic (Brunswick, OH/Brunswick) was two points shy of a double-double against Denison with 13 rebounds and eight points, while senior guard Spencer Williams (Warrensville Hts., OH/Orange) and sophomore guard Danyon Hempy (Waldo, OH/River Valley) both notched season-high scoring efforts against Wabash with 18 and 16, respectively.