Springfield, Ohio – The Wittenberg men's basketball team celebrated their annual Champions Day at Pam Evans Smith Arena with a 95-67 win over the Lords of Kenyon College. The Tigers welcomed back the championship teams from 1964, '69, '74, '89, '94 and 2004, along with honoring the late head coach Larry Hunter, who passed away last year, and was one of the early figureheads of the Wittenberg basketball program. Wittenberg jumped out to an early 45-28 lead by the end of the first half, converting on 50 percent of their attempts from the field and 33 percent from beyond the arc. Six different Tiger players tallied double-digit points on the day, as Mitchell Balser recorded a team-high 19 with eight rebounds to go along with three steals. Wittenberg moves to 16-5 on the season and 10-4 in NCAC action.
Wittenberg came out firing on all cylinders, opening the game on an 11-4 scoring run over the first five minutes of action. The Tigers kept the pedal down, extending their lead out to 27-9 with just under 10 minutes to play in the half. Wittenberg allowed just the fifth Kenyon made basket with inside nine minutes remaining, holding on to take a 45-28 advantage into the break. Balser paced the Wittenberg offense, posting 13 of his 19 points in the first half, knocking down 3 of 9 from the floor while converting on all five attempts from the free-throw line. Levi Boettcher added 10 points during the first half, going 3 for 3 from the floor and 2 of 2 from beyond the arc. The Tigers did not lose their stride during the second half, outscoring the Lords 50-39 on a 58 percent shooting mark from the field. The shots kept falling for the Red and White, as Wittenberg converted on 48 percent from beyond the arc hitting 7 of 15 attempts from the floor. Jordan Pumroy led the Tiger offense down the stretch, scoring 10 of his 12 points and reeling in four rebounds to go alongside a steal and an assist. Boettcher and Landon Martin kept the support coming off the bench, as Boettcher added eight points to his total coming down the stretch. Martin finished the second half, providing seven of his 11 total points, knocking down all three of his looks from the field.
Who Stood Out
Balser finished the night shooting 5 of 12 from the floor and 4 of 8 from beyond the arc with eight rebounds and three steals. Posting a career-high 18 points, Boettcher knocked down 6 of 7 attempts from the floor, including all four looks from beyond the arc, adding three steals, two rebounds, and an assist. Connor Seipel finished with 17 points and eight rebounds on 8 of 10 shooting, including knocking down his second three-pointer in his second game in a row. Pumroy got the offense going in the first half, dishing out four assists and tracking down three rebounds before the break. James Johnson was one rebound shy of a double-double, pulling down a team-leading nine rebounds. Johnson finished with 10 points and three assists on the day.
From The Bench
Wittenberg returns to action on Wednesday, Feb. 6 hosting NCAC foe Ohio Wesleyan, tipping off against the Battling Bishops at 7:30 PM from Pam Evans Smith Arena.