On Wednesday night the Wittenberg Tigers men’s basketball team clinched the NCAC regular season championship by defeating the DePauw Tigers. Wittenberg held off a late rally and prevailed 56-55. The win gives Wittenberg the top seed in the upcoming NCAC Tournament, along with the opportunity to host the tournament. This home court advantage is especially important as the team is 11-2 at home this year.
Against DePauw the Wittenberg men were led by senior Michael Cooper’s 22 points and 12 rebounds. Clayton Black also added 14 points and 5 rebounds. In typical fashion this year the team had a steady lead for the majority of the game before almost losing the lead in the final minutes. DePauw had a shot at the buzzer to win the game, but came up short.
The Tigers followed up this win with a decisive victory on Senior Recognition Day Saturday. The team defeated the Hiram Terriers 72-50. After the game the team honored its seniors, along with manager Bobby Fisher. The team honored 7 seniors: Clayton Black, Michael Cooper, Josh McKee, Michael Duffy, Alex Brandt, Jacob Weide, and Sam Gardner. Since all of the seniors could not start Josh McKee gave up his starting spot so Sam Gardner could make his first ever start. This type of selflessness and team chemistry is part of the reason why the team has been so successful this year. Brandt and sophomore Scott Masin each scored 12 points in the dominating victory. When asked about the game, point guard Steven Newell replied, “It has truly been an honor to play with these seniors, and I am extremely happy that we could send them off with a win and a conference championship.” The team’s next game will be in the NCAC Quarterfinals against 8th seeded Kenyon College.
(Dan Sabol / firstname.lastname@example.org)