Springfield, OH – The No. 5 Wittenberg University men's basketball team improved to 2-0 on Saturday afternoon, taking down the Lions from Mount St. Joseph University 92-58, in the home opener from Pam Evans Smith Arena. The Wittenberg offense was led by James Johnson and Connor Seipel with 22 points each on the night, as the Tigers knocked down 57 percent of their looks from the floor. Seipel posted his second consecutive double-double of the 2019-20 campaign, adding 12 rebounds to his total, going along with one assist. Wittenberg managed to get 10 different players into the scoring column on the evening, with 30 of their total points coming from the bench. In just the third meeting between the two sides, the Tigers move to 3-0 in the all-time series against MSJ. Wittenberg is currently averaging just around 90 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the field. The Red and White have three players averaging double-digit scoring figures through two games, Seipel (27.5), Johnson (15.0) Jake Bertemes (11.0).
Taking control of the opening tip, Seipel finished strong inside for the Tigers to put the first points on the board. MSJ responded with a five-point run to open the game, giving the Lions the largest lead of the game with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. Wittenberg knocked down 60 percent of their shots from the field in the first half, converting on 7 of 13 from beyond the arc. The Red and White sparked a nine-point scoring run midway through the first half, as Seipel and Johnson would each head into the break with 12 points. The Wittenberg guards picked apart the Lions, as Bertemes and Jordan Pumroy each tallied six points for the Red and White at the half. At the break, Bertemes had already assisted on 5 of the 11 total Tiger baskets. Pumroy pulled down three of his seven total rebounds in the first half, coming down with six defensive boards on the night for Wittenberg. The Tiger's kept the momentum rolling into the second half, as the Tigers would pull away highlighted with an alley-oop dunk from Ridge Young to Johnson. Levi Boettcher was the leading Tiger scorer off the bench, posting seven points, adding three defensive rebounds to his total by the end of the night.
From The Bench
"Great to win our home opener. I thought our guys were ready to go from the jump and we got contributions from many people," said Head Coach Matt Croci.
Wittenberg will return to action on Tuesday, Nov. 26 to open up North Coast Athletic Conference action, traveling to Oberlin College. Tip-off against the Yeomen is set for 7:30 PM.
�� @WittenbergHoops takes down MSJ in the home opener from Pam Evans Smith Arena! �� Tigers find their way into the scoring column led by James Johnson and Connor Seipel with 22 points each! #TigerUp pic.twitter.com/wykye8357j— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 23, 2019