GRANVILLE, Ohio — The Wittenberg men's basketball team used a 43-22 rebounding advantage to muscle their way past Denison University 84-70 on Wednesday night. The win improved the Tigers to 2-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference and moved them back to even at 3-3 overall.
The Tigers grabbed 25 defensive rebounds and 18 around their own hoop, leading to 18 second-chance points against the Big Red's six. More than half of Wittenberg's points came from the paint, where junior forward Clayton Black (Lancaster, Ohio/Lancaster) led the team with 25 points on sturdy 10-of-13 shooting.
Black's high percentage mirrored the team's success, as the Tigers rolled to a 51.7-percent shooting mark (30-of-58) just a few nights after hitting 57.1-percent at Allegheny. Wittenberg also benefitted from frequent trips to the free throw line, where as a team they made 17-of-23, while Denison went 9-of-12 at the stripe.
Wittenberg led by as many as 18 points late in the game after taking a 44-34 lead into the locker room at halftime. Denison closed the lead down to five points six minutes into the second half before the Tigers expanded it back to 14, but the Big Red fought back within eight with seven to go.
A three-point make on the next possession from senior Chris Sullivan (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington), one of five for him in the game, put the margin permanently back into double figures.
Sullivan finished with 17 points, second only to Black, and added 2-of-3 from the line. Freshman Steven Newell (Englewood, Ohio/Northmont) finished third in scoring with nine points and five rebounds for the most productive night of his young career.
Junior Josh McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) went 2-of-4 from the field and 4-of-6 at the stripe for eight total points with four rebounds in his second appearance of the season after returning from his duties with the football team.
The Tigers take nearly two weeks off before hosting their first home game of the season at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, against fellow North Coast team Ohio Wesleyan University.
John Strawn '07