Delaware, Ohio – The No. 11 Wittenberg men's basketball cruised to their third straight victory of the 2018-19 season, taking down the Crusaders of Capital University 88-78 in the first leg of the OAC/NCAC Challenge on Tuesday night from Ohio Wesleyan University. The Tigers opened the night shooting 56 percent from the field while holding the Crusaders to just 16 percent from beyond the arc as only one of six Capital deep shot attempts would fall in the first half. As the offense found its groove, Wittenberg would finish with five players scoring in double-figures on the evening.
The Tigers would take a 37-28 advantage into the break, holding the Crusaders to less than 30 percent from the field through the first half. Jordan Pumroy jumped out to a quick start, scoring nine first-half points for the Tigers knocking down three of four attempts from the field while converting on both looks from beyond the arc. The Wittenberg bench would combine to outscore the Capital reserves 12-5 through the opening half. After a quiet first half for the red and white, Rashaad Ali-Shakir would come up with 13 points for Wittenberg off the bench. Though the Crusaders would lead the field goal percentage in the second half, the Tigers would hold Capital to just three of nine through the final twenty minutes of action. Wittenberg would hold on to outscore the Crusaders 51-50 down the stretch while shooting over 50 percent from the field and over 60 percent from beyond the arc.
Who Stood Out
Connor Seipel would finish one point shy from his third straight 20-point game. The Columbus native recorded his second straight double-double with 19 points and 15 rebounds, adding four assists, a steal, and a block. Freshman Levi Boettcher posted a career-high 15 points while pulling down four rebounds with two blocked shots on the night for the Tigers. Mitchell Balser found his groove, recording his season-high 14 points on four of seven shooting from the floor while knocking down three of four looks from beyond the arc. Jacob Bertemes rounded out the Wittenberg double-digit scorers with 10 points, finishing the night with four rebounds, five assists, and five steals.
From The Bench
"We are excited to win a tough, physical ball game. Lots of guys made plays on both ends tonight. It is great to take a win into Thanksgiving," said head coach Matt Croci.
Head Coach Matt Croci of @WittenbergHoops shares his thoughts on the @OHAthleticConf /@NCAC Challenge ahead of tonight's game against Capital.— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 20, 2018
On their way to becoming @NCAADIII basketball winningest program, the Tigers recorded 936 wins as a member of the OAC #TigerUp pic.twitter.com/EW2n6TPA12
�� @OHAthleticConf /@NCAC Challenge ��— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 20, 2018
�� @WittenbergHoops vs. Capital
��️: 6:00 PM
��: Delaware, Ohio | Ohio Wesleyan University
��: https://t.co/PcLXWFsqJE#TigerUp pic.twitter.com/FFaqa8WJsc
Tigers close out the Crusaders 88-78 in their first OAC-NCAC match up this season! @WittenbergHoops claims their third consecutive victory this as they open their 2018 campaign. #tigerup pic.twitter.com/P2wuRpWX2P— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 21, 2018
In the Tigers 88-78 showdown, @WittenbergHoops produced a slate of FIVE DOUBLE-DIGIT SCORERS, combining for 71 points. Seipel topped the list with his first double-double of the season, tallying 19 points and 15 rebounds. Way to #TigerUp! pic.twitter.com/FxdL5XZz4S— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 21, 2018
The Tigers will return to action, taking on the Cardinals of Otterbein University on Sunday at 4:00 PM to close out the OAC/NCAC Challenge.