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Wooster wins in final seconds

Roger An
Contributing Writer

The Wooster Fighting Scots hosted a thriller versus the Denison Big Red this past Saturday as the Conference rivals battled it out in Wooster’s Timken Gymnasium.

France native Alex Baptiste ’18 started out the game with a layup to give the Scots the lead in the opening minutes. After a Denison turnover, Danyon Hempy ’20 blocked a Big Red jump shot. Baptiste rebounded and followed up with a quick score to put the Scots up 6-0. The momentum switched back and forth for the next couple of minutes until Denison’s head coach decided to cut it off with a timeout.

With a couple of missed shots on the Scots followed up by several scores by Denison, the game grew closer as the Big Red pulled to 11-14. A few physical possessions on both ends of steals and fast breaks allowed Hempy to assist Spencer Williams ’18 for a three-point shot, as well as Denison following it up with a three-pointer of their own, with Williams on the assist to return the favor.

The Big Red once again clawed closer and closer, with a three-pointer to make the game 22-19, but Trenton Tipton ’20 managed to sink two consecutive three-pointers to start to push Denison away at 28-19. Soon after, Eric Bulic ’19 grabbed a missed free throw and dished the ball out to Blake Blair ’19, who connected for a three-pointer, and Bulic followed that up with a three of his own to make the score 33-22. That lead would stay relatively stagnant, as the Scots went into halftime with a 46-36 lead.

Denison started the second half out fast, as a few quick shots within the first couple minutes of the half brought them to 45-51. Denison kept fighting, however, as they clawed closer with a 7-0 scoring drive that brought the game back to 52-55. Wooster’s Tipton floated up a layup that gave the Scots a 52-57 lead, and Head Coach Steve Moore called a timeout with just under 11 minutes remaining to collect his team.

Williams came out and responded by sinking two jump shots to make the game 61-55. The scoring went back and forth from there, as a Denison three-pointer followed by a Bulic layup kept the Scots’ lead at 63-58. Shortly after, Denison converted a layup to make the game 61-65, with their coach using up one of their timeouts with about 4:30 left in the half. They came out firing, with a three-point jump shot and a layup to give the Big Red a 66-65 advantage, their first lead of the game. Baptiste was fouled and made one of two from the free throw line to tie the game up at 66 with 2:29 to go. Denison and Wooster responded with respective scores twice each to keep the game on a tightrope at 70. With Wooster possessing the ball with 14 seconds remaining, they ran the clock down to about eight. Hempy threw a bounce pass to Dupler on the outside, who managed to successfully out-maneuver multiple defenders and sling the ball back to Hempy, who threw the ball up and in. This gave the Scots the lead with three seconds to go, and eventually the win.

“I think a real key point about the game is the fact that our players kept their composure once they lost the lead,” said Head Coach Steve Moore. “Once a team leads for the whole game and loses that lead late, human nature is to panic a little bit and lose your poise, but I think our players did a good job of keeping their poise.”

The Scots host Ohio Wesleyan University this Saturday for Senior Day.Tip-off is scheduled for 4 p.m.

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