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Men’s basketball rolls to decisive victory over Hanover

Sam Kuhn
Senior Sports Writer

In a matchup with #4 Hanover, the men’s basketball team asserted its dominance in a win where they led wire-to-wire at Timken Gymnasium. After losing a tough game to highly ranked team St. John Fisher, the Scots needed this win to get back on track moving into the conference schedule.

Ari Stern ’18 said, “The win against Hanover was huge for us. We played so poorly on Tuesday and really strayed away from playing Scots basketball. Saturday was an opportunity to get much-needed redemption against a tough opponent in Hanover. Everyone was really pleased with our effort and intensity that carried over the entire game. We came out hot and responded to adversity, something we didn’t do on Tuesday.”

The Scots’ win marks the first time since 2013 that Wooster has beaten a team in the top-5 of D3hoops.com’s rankings. Starting off strong with the help of defense throughout the first half led the Scots to see their lead jump to seven at halftime. Throughout the first half, the Scots’ aggressive defense forced Hanover to turn the ball over and settle for contested shots, allowing Eric Bulic ’19 and Reece Dupler ’19 to come away with blocks and steals. Bulic notched a career high on the day with five blocks. In fact, Wooster’s defense logged three steals and two blocks in the first four minutes of the game. Wooster jumped out to a double-digit lead during the first half, only to see the Panthers start to chip away. Closing in on the end of the first half, Bulic blocked three shots in the span of 1:18 to keep Hanover from coming any closer in the first half. The Scots went into halftime ahead 36-29.

Hanover came within two points early in the second half, but a pair of six- and ten-point runs extended the Scots’ lead to 16 with 13 minutes left in the contest. This was helped mostly by Wooster making its free throws. The Scots went 19-22 from the free throw line in the second half after only making one in the first half.

The second half also saw the shooters emerge, as the Scots topped Hanover by a slim margin, 51-50, which was much higher scoring than the first half. Led by Dupler’s 13 points on 6-7 shooting and Simon Texidor ’19’s 15 points on 5-6 shooting, the Scots shot 52 percent in the second half and 71 percent from three-point range compared to Hanover’s 39 percent from the floor.

For the game, Dupler led the team with 23 points and chipped in five boards, while Texidor scored 18 on the day with five rebounds as well. Along with Bulic’s five blocks, he also contributed 11 points and four rebounds, and starter Danyon Hempy ’20 turned in a balanced effort with 10 points, five rebounds and four assists. Spencer Williams ’18 had 15 points on the day to go along with three assists and five rebounds.

The final score was 87-79, a win in which Stern talked about its impact on the rest of the season by saying, “[T]hat type of win is huge for us because it builds confidence and momentum moving forward. After a win like that, guys finally realize our potential when we buy into the game plan and team concept.”

The Scots continue their trek through the North Coast Athletic Conference when they take on Wabash tomorrow at home in Timken Gymnasium. The game begins at 2:00 p.m.

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