DELAWARE, Ohio – The Wittenberg men's basketball team lost a battle for second place in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) standings as host Ohio Wesleyan pulled away down the stretch to secure a 63-51 victory.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 13-7 overall and 6-5 in the NCAC. Wittenberg remains tied for third place with DePauw, which was upended by Wabash, while Ohio Wesleyan improved to 15-4 overall and 8-3 in the league. The Battling Bishops had lost three of its previous four games and came into the match-up with the Tigers just one game ahead of Wittenberg and DePauw.
OWU completed the season sweep of Wittenberg by holding the Tigers to 38.5 percent shooting, outrebounding last year's NCAC champions by five and committing three less turnovers in the game. Still, the visitors were within three points with 11:41 remaining in the game.
That's when Wittenberg's offense dried up, with just a three-pointer by sophomore Ben Syroka (Toledo, Ohio/Whitmer) to show for their efforts over the next nine minutes. In that time, Ohio Wesleyan expanded its advantage to 61-46.
Just one Wittenberg player reached double figures offensively as junior Steven Newell (Englewood, Ohio/Northmont) scored 10 points. Syroka was one of three players to finish with eight points in the game, joined by sophomore Sam Collins (Cleveland Heights, Ohio/Cleveland Heights) and junior Scott Masin (New Carlisle, Ohio/Bethel), who combined for 16 rebounds.