SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—For the first time since the 2009-2010 season, the Wittenberg Tigers men's basketball program is off to a 5-0 start. Wittenberg's most recent win came at the hands of Oberlin, as the Tigers also improved to 1-0 in NCAC league play after dispatching a 4-1 Yeomen team on Wednesday night. Behind a career high 27 points from sophomore Connor Seipel, the Tigers dominated the Yeomen down low, winning the game 78-65 while holding Oberlin to zero offensive rebounds in the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED: The Tigers trailed by as many as five in the first half, taking their first lead of the night at 20-19 after a Seipel layup with 7:35 remaining in the first half. Leading 27-25 with two minutes to go in the opening half, the Tigers went on a 9-0 run to end the half, capped off by two free-throw-makes from Rashaad Ali-Shakir as the Tigers took a 34-25 lead into the break. Wittenberg would go up ten early in the half before Oberlin came roaring back to cut the Tiger lead to 43-39 with 14:11 remaining. Oberlin would come within two with 11:41 left to play before the Tiger's grew their lead again to ten. Wittenberg would go up 13 with under five minutes' play after a Chad Roy layup; 70-57. The Tigers proved to be too much down the stretch, as the final buzzer sounded with the home team up 78-65.
WHO STOOD OUT: Seipel's 27 points is a career high and team high in 2017, as the sophomore also helped Wittenberg's efforts on the boards, pulling down eight, including five offensive rebounds. Roy posted his second double-double of 2017, as the Tiger's lone senior went for 16 points and ten rebounds in the NCAC win. After a slow start from the floor, freshman James Johnson found his stroke for the Tiger's, as the Cincinnati native went for 12 points in the game, including three triples.
BEYOND THE NUMBERS: Wittenberg outrebounded Oberlin 44-24, and 18-0 on the offensive glass. The Tiger's played stellar defense all night, as the jump-shooting Yeomen only recorded five free-throws in the game. Wittenberg fed the low post all night, recording 34 free-throws and cashing in on 20 of them. 14 of the Tiger's 27 field goals came off of assists, as Jacob Bertemes and Roy led the Tigers with four dimes each.
UP NEXT: Wittenberg is back in action on Saturday at 2:00 P.M. at Pam Evans Smith Arena against Allegheny.