Greencastle, Ind. – Playing in their third consecutive overtime game, the No. 24 Wittenberg University men's basketball team fell in heartbreaking fashion on the road to the Tigers of DePauw University, 77-75 in overtime on Wednesday evening on the road. Wittenberg was able to hold on for two exciting wins in their two prior overtime road thrillers, first taking down Ohio Wesleyan before moving on to defeat Oberlin on Saturday. The Red and White had four players finish in double-figures by the end of regulation, as Connor Seipel and James Johnson headlined the scoring column with 18 points each. Wittenberg moves to 13-5 on the season and 7-4 in North Coast Athletic Conference action.
Wittenberg maintained a 34-30 lead heading into the break, knocking down 52 percent of their shots from the field while holding DePauw to a 36 percent field goal average. The back and forth continued in the second half, as DePauw scratched away at the Wittenberg lead. As the final moments ticked away, Johnson converted the old-fashion three-point play to give Wittenberg the 67-66 lead with 16 seconds to go in regulation. A miscue from the DePauw free-throw line in the final seconds, allowed the home Tigers to convert on only one of two shots, as the game went to overtime tied at 67-67. Wittenberg was the first to find the bucket nearly a minute into the overtime period, as Rashaad Ali-Shakir knocked down a pair of free throws to open the scoring during the extra time. Johnson would answer a DePauw lay-up with a three-pointer to keep Wittenberg ahead, 72-69. Wittenberg held onto the lead all the way into the final minute of the game before DePauw was able to go on to knock down their final four consecutive shots to seal the win on their home floor.
Who Stood Out
Recording his 11th double-double of the season, Seipel added 15 rebounds, a block and assist to go along with his 18 points on the night. Johnson was close by finishing with eight rebounds and 18 points. Jacob Bertemes tallied 14 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the field, dishing out four assists and tracking down one rebound. Mitchell Balser posted 10 points with three rebounds and two steals on the night for the Red and White.
Wittenberg returns to Pam Evans Smith Arena this Saturday, Jan. 26 to take on NCAC foe Allegheny College. Tip-off against the Gators is set for 2:00 PM.