Kiwanis Tip Off Game One

The Wittenberg University Tigers began what they hope is a four-month march toward the NCAA Division III Tournament with a convincing 82-59 victory over Eastern University in the semifinals of the 2003 Kiwanis-Wittenberg Tip-Off Classic. The Tigers advanced to the championship game against Washington University at 8 p.m. Saturday in the HPER Center.

The Tigers, who went 20-6 a year ago and finished second in the North Coast Athletic Conference regular season standings with a record of 14-2, started slowly, falling behind 7-0 in the opening three minutes. But Wittenberg turned it around quickly and took the first lead 17-15 with 9:48 before halftime on a jumper by Daniel Russ. The lead ballooned to 43-24 by the end of the half and the rout was essentially on.

Wittenberg extended the lead to as much 33 points on two occasions late in the second half. The Tigers got a huge game from sophomore Daniel Russ, who had 19 points and 14 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end. In support, senior Peter Walker had 12 points and four rebounds and senior Rod Emmons finished with 11 points and five board. Junior guard Kenny Molz also had a fine game with six points, four assists and four steals.

Eastern put just one player in double figures, Corey Copeland with 10 points. Gus Nadelhoffer and Anthony Moncreif each finished with eight points.