NCAC Weekly Release (2-5-18) - Men's Basketball

DePauw improved to 5-9 in league play last weekend with a pair of wins over Allegheny, 78-69, and Hiram, 79-67.
DePauw improved to 5-9 in league play last weekend with a pair of wins over Allegheny, 78-69, and Hiram, 79-67.

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Nationally-ranked and undefeated Wittenberg (14-0, 21-0) needs just one more victory in the final two weeks of the regular season to clinch at least a share of its first North Coast men’s basketball title since the 2012 season. The Tigers’ first chance comes this Wednesday night at home against Wabash, before hitting the road on Saturday for an afternoon matinee at Hiram.

ALLEGHENY went 0-2 during a weekend swing through Indiana, falling against DePauw, 78-69, on Friday and Wabash, 72-61, on Saturday. Freshman Tavian Strobridge (Biloxi, MS/St. Patrick) came off the bench against Wabash and the led the Gators with a career-high 16 points, while sophomore Jordan Rawls (Pittsburgh, PA/Taylor Alderdice) pulled down eight rebounds and scored a game-high 25 points against DePauw.

DENISON turned in a pair of strong performances last week that resulted in an 83-62 home win over Ohio Wesleyan and a heartbreaking 73-70 loss at Wooster. Senior Maxwell Siwik (Broadview Hts., OH/Walsh Jesuit) posted back-to-back 21-point scoring performances last week, highlighted by shooting 8-of-13 from the field and 5-of-8 from three-point range in the 21-point victory over OWU on Wednesday.

DEPAUW picked up a weekend sweep and raised its conference record to 5-9 with home wins over Allegheny, 78-69, and Hiram, 79-67. In the two games combined, the Tigers shot 85.2 percent (46-of-54) from the free throw line and outscored their opponents from the charity stripe by a 46-14 margin. In the win over Hiram, DPU’s four bench players totaled 43 of the Tigers’ 79 points, led by freshman Ken Decker (Crown Point, IN/Crown Point) leading the squad with 13 points in just 17 minutes of action, while senior David Vogel (Bluffton, IN/Norwell) led the way against Allegheny with 20 points and eight rebounds.

HIRAM dropped to 8-6 in league play last weekend after dropping a pair of games in Indiana against Wabash, 78-74, and DePauw, 79-67. Sophomore Brevin Dye (Bedford Hts., OH/Trinity) came off the bench on Friday night and led the Terriers with 16 points in 19 minutes of action against Wabash, while senior Kelvin Jones (Sheffield Lake, OH/Brookside) tallied his 11th double-double of the season on Saturday against DePauw with 10 points and 11 rebounds.

KENYON lost a pair of road games against two of the top-three teams in the NCAC last week, dropping a 78-63 decision at No. 3 Wittenberg, before suffering a 108-82 loss at Ohio Wesleyan. Senior Phillip Crampton (Madison, CT/Daniel Hand) led the Lords with 16 points against the Tigers, while classmate Alex Laub (Sleepy Hollow, NY/Sleepy Hollow) scored a career-high 18 points against OWU.

OBERLIN didn’t have enough firepower to stay with high-powered Wooster and No. Wittenberg last week as the Yeomen fell to the Scots, 89-59, before dropping a 77-56 decision against the Tigers. Sophomore guard Joshua Friedkin (Emeryville, CA/Albany) led the Yeomen in scoring in both games as he posted 13 points against the Scots and followed with 17 more in the loss against Wittenberg.

OHIO WESLEYAN, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, split a pair of league games last week, dropping an 83-62 decision at Denison, before rebounding with a 108-82 home win over Kenyon. Senior Nate Axelrod (Dublin, OH/Coffman) led the Bishops in the win with 28 points and nine assists. The nine assists raised his career total to 616, which tied the school record set by Andy Winters from 2009-13.

WABASH moved into a tie for fifth-place in the NCAC standings with Denison at 7-7 each thanks in part to earning a pair of home wins last weekend against Hiram, 78-74, and Allegheny, 72-61. Freshman Jack Davidson (Fishers, IN/Hamilton Southeastern) was lights out on the offensive side of the ball in the 24-hour period as he scored 30 points on Friday night against Hiram and added 23 more in the 11-point win over Allegheny on Saturday afternoon. In the two games combined, Davidson shot 50 percent (11-of-22) from the field, 55 percent (6-of-11) from three-point range and a blistering 89 percent (25-of-28) at the free throw line.

WITTENBERG, ranked third in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, continued to roll past conference opponents as the Tigers notched their 11th- and 12th-straight double-digit victories last week with wins over Kenyon, 78-63, and Oberlin, 77-56.  Junior Mitch Balser (Centerville, OH/Centerville) has scored in double figures in five-straight games, which included pouring in 21 against Kenyon, while sophomore Jacob Bertemes (Springfield, OH/Southeastern) paced the Tigers against Oberlin with 16 points, three assists and two steals.

WOOSTER, which is receiving votes in the NABC/D3hoops.com Top-25, rolled past Oberlin, 89-59, on Wednesday, before sophomore Danyon Hempy (Waldo, OH/River Valley) knocked down a game-winning three-pointer with 3.7 seconds left on Saturday in a thrilling 73-70 win over Denison. Hempy finished off the win against Denison with 17 points, five assists and two blocked shots, while senior Alex Baptiste (Allonnes, France/Wasatch Acad., UT) also factored heavily in the win over the Big Red with 15 points, nine rebounds and five blocked shots.