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Scots win by margin of two points against Bishops

Matt Olszewski

Sports Editor

The College of Wooster men’s basketball team beat Kenyon College on Wednesday, Jan. 30 with a score of 105-67 in a game dominated by the Scots from start to finish.

They then brought home a huge NCAC win against Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU) this past Saturday, Feb. 2. The Scots won by a score of 76-74. Reece Dupler ’19 reflected on how the team felt going into the game. “OWU has been a big rival of ours ever since I got here. Despite their record this year, we knew it would be a tough game,” he said. Dontae Williams ’21 added that the team knew Ohio Wesleyan had improved a lot since the last time they played them and that it was going to be a grind-out win. 

Trey Miller ’19 also remarked about how they felt going into this tight game. “Despite not having the best record, OWU has a lot of good players who can hurt you if they are overlooked. We had to make sure that we were prepared for whatever they were going to throw at us,” he said. The Scots outscored Ohio Wesleyan 41-37 in the first half and knew the second half would be tight. “We were happy that we were up but we weren’t satisfied with our defense in the first half. We felt as if we needed to step up our defense,” said Williams. Eric Bulic ’19 also shared his thoughts on how the team felt at halftime. “We knew that wasn’t much of a lead against these guys, as they can score like the best of them. The game was virtually tied at that point. We knew we had to make some adjustments guarding the ball screens and we did that in the second half,” Bulic said.

In the second half, the Scots were outscored by Ohio Wesleyan, but only by two points. Wooster made the plays when they needed to and ultimately earned a crucial conference win. Arguably, the most important play of the game was when Trenton Tipton ’20 was waiting in the corner behind the three-point line. He received the ball and knocked down a go-ahead three-pointer with 38.1 seconds left to go in the game. Ohio Wesleyan then came back up the court and shot a three which would have won the game, but it bounced off the rim.

When asked about the environment, Khaylen Mahdi ’22 described it well, saying, “the crowd was intense, the players were intense; it was a moment that I will always remember. The environment was so loud that I could only sign the play calls as I dribbled the ball up court,” he said. Wooster was able to “weather the storm” — and the hostile environment — as Coach Moore told them to do going into the second half. Mahdi also described his favorite thing about the game. “I loved how we stayed together, we did not fold. I believe this shows a lot about who we are as a unit. No matter how many times we fall, we will rise,” he remarked. 

Not only is this another significant win for the Scots, but it helps them with their positioning going into the NCAC tournament. “At this point in the season, we control our own destiny. If we want to be able to host the NCAC tournament, we have to win out the rest of the season. Each game means so much more right now,” explained Williams. In the game, Danyon Hempy ’20 lead the Scots in points with 23, as well as in assists with six. 

Williams led in rebounds with seven. Wooster shot 30-58 from the field, good for 51.7 percent, and Ohio Wesleyan shot 28-57 from the field, for a percentage of 49.1 from the field. Notable is the fact that each team had 18 points come from their benches and they also had the same amount of assists (14).

As of Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Scots hold a record of 18-3 and a NCAC record of 13-1. Next up, the Fighting Scots will take on Wittenberg University for senior night on Saturday, Feb. 9 at 7:00 p.m.

(Photo from Wooster Athletics)

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