SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The Wittenberg Tigers put the disappointment of a narrow loss at No. 1 Wooster behind them, making a triumphant return to the court with a dominating 82-54 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) victory over Denison.
The win, Wittenberg's ninth in the last 10 games, moved the Tigers to 13-5 overall and 8-1 in the NCAC. Denison, which has not won in Springfield since the 1949-50 season, lost for the 10th straight time to Wittenberg to fall to 6-13 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
After spotting Denison the game's first two points, the Tigers took the lead but struggled to extend it until midway through the first half. After two free throws pulled the Big Red to within one point at 12-11 with 13:05 on the first half clock, seniorChris Sullivan (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) got the rout in gear with a three-pointer, the first of six in the game. That kickstarted a 14-point Wittenberg run, and by halftime the Tigers had extended the lead to a whopping 29 points.
The lead eventually reached 41 points as the Tigers substituted liberally throughout the final 20 minutes. Among the second-half entries was junior Josh McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh), who had missed more than a month of games due to illness. He played five minutes and scored two points.
Wittenberg shot 59 percent from the field in the first half, including a blistering 9-of-15 from three-point range. For the game, the Tigers wound up shooting 51 percent for the game, including 13-of-28 from distance. In addition, Wittenberg won the rebounding battle by a 50-23 margin, with 20 of the Tigers' caroms coming at the offensive end.
Sullivan led all scorers with 18 points, hitting 6-of-12 shots in the game after going 2-of-16 in the loss at Wooster. Junior Michael Cooper (Springfield, Ohio/South)added 12 points, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, while junior Clayton Black (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) contributed 11 points and eight rebounds and senior Seth Hill (Bellefontaine, Ohio/Bellefontaine) came off the bench to chip in 10 points.
Also of note, junior Alex Brandt (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) finished with six points and nine rebounds and junior Michael Duffy (Lewis Center, Ohio/Olentangy) turned in his finest game as a collegian with six points, two rebounds and two assists in 13 quality minutes off the bench.