SPRINGFIELD, Ohio—The Tigers of Wittenberg escaped a scrappy DePauw team unscathed on Wednesday night in Springfield 76-64 to move to 18-0 (11-0) on the year. DePauw 7-11 (3-8) played the #3 team in the nation tough, but the Tigers explosive offense proved to be too much for DePauw to handle in the second half. On a night where Jacob Bertemes and Landon Martin were unavailable for the Tigers, Mitchell Balser shouldered the load, cashing in on eight of his 14 field-goal attempts for a game-high 23 points. Chad Roy helped clean up the mess on the low block, missing a double-double by one rebound with a 15 point, nine rebound performance in the win.
HOW IT HAPPENED: Wittenberg struggled from the floor early on, but managed to turn it on late in the first half to go up 34-15. After a DePauw missed three-pointer, Balser weaved in and out of traffic to connect on a buzzer-beating three, giving the Tigers a 37-16 lead at the break. The first ten minutes of the second-half featured a DePauw team that would not quit, as the Tigers from Greencastle would cut Wittenberg's lead to as little as four. Offensive rebounding, and the hustle of Jordan Pumroy helped put the Tigers back up ten over DePauw with a 72-62 lead. Wittenberg found a way to get it done in the end, claiming their 18th consecutive victory at 76-64.
WHO STOOD OUT: Rashaad Ali-Shakir filled in for the Tigers as a starter on Wednesday night, logging ten points on four of 14 shooting from the field. Pumroy also netted double-digits for the Tigers, as the sophomore totaled 13 points while chipping in seven boards. Including Roy and Balser's standout performances, the Tigers saw four go for double-digits, as Balser and Pumroy also contributed four and three assists each.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: It was no-contest in the rebounding department, as Wittenberg dominated the glass with 44 rebounds to DePauw's 27. Wittenberg tallied 15 offensive boards, led by Connor Seipel's four, to DePauw's three. With both teams shooting right around 40% from the field, 11 of the 27 made field goals from Wittenberg came off assists. Leading by as many as 23 in the game, Wittenberg outscored DePauw in the paint 36-26.
UP NEXT: #3 Wittenberg returns to action on Saturday at home against Denison. Tip-off is set for 3:00 P.M.