DELAWARE, Ohio — The Wittenberg men's basketball team won their fourth-straight game with a 75-70 win over Ohio Wesleyan Wednesday night, capitalizing on tremendous outside shooting to move to 16-5 overall. The Tigers, now 11-1 in the North Coast Athletic Conference, remain in a first-place tie with the College of Wooster.
Wittenberg took a five-point lead into halftime, and though Ohio Wesleyan whittled it down to margins of just one and two points several times in the second half, the Tigers always had an answer, and it usually came from downtown.
The win completed the regular season sweep over the Battling Bishops following a 64-62 win on Monday, Dec. 20, in Springfield.
The Tigers' three-point shooting success came largely on the back of senior wingChris Sullivan (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), who put together a momentous night by breaking two school records.
Sullivan hit 8-of-12 three-point attempts in the game, bringing him to 91 made three-point field goals on the season and 212 in his Wittenberg career, both school records, following totals of 31 in 2008-09 and 90 in 2009-10. Sullivan hit 30 three-pointers in 2007-08 while playing for Franklin & Marshall before transferring to Wittenberg, giving him 242 in his collegiate career.
Sullivan paced the Tigers with 24 points on 8-of-14 from the field, backed up by junior post Alex Brandt (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy), who scored 14 on 5-of-7 from the floor and 4-of-4 at the free throw line and led the team with seven rebounds.
Three different Tigers checked in with nine points, including junior post Clayton Black (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster), freshman guard Steven Newell (Englewood, Ohio/Northmont) and junior Michael Cooper (Springfield, Ohio/South).
Newell, Black and senior wing Seth Hill (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) each pulled down four rebounds, Hill adding two steals and two assists. Black had a team-best three assists in the game.
As a team, the Tigers shot over 50 percent from the field for the second straight game and eighth overall, on a mark of 50.9 percent (28-of-55). Their 14 made three-point field goals marks a season-high, coming on 25 attempts for a figure of 56 percent, their fourth game over 50 percent and eighth over 40 percent in the category.
The win was key for the Tigers' conference title hopes, as they face a gaunlet over the next week of NCAC action. Wittenberg, ranked 25th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top 25 Poll, hosts a rematch with the No. 4 Fighting Scots of Wooster on Saturday, Feb. 12, at 7:30 p.m., followed by a visit to No. 13 Wabash.
John Strawn '07