This past weekend both men’s and women’s basketball opened up their 2019-2020 season on the road. The men’s team flew out to New York to gear up for their match against the Brooklyn College Bulldogs on Saturday, pulling out a 87-78 victory. The women’s team headed for Pennsylvania to participate in the Penn-State Behrend tournament, where they came out Saturday afternoon 2-0. Let’s take a closer look at how the Tigers faired this weekend.
The Tigers and Bulldogs battled for the ball in the first half with the Bulldogs, at one point, pulling out the lead. Three-point shots from Jake Bertemes (’20), James Johnshon (’21) and Rashaad Ali-Shakir (’21) put up back to back threes and stole the lead 15-14. The Tigers went into halftime ahead only 42-40.
Going into the second half, the Tigers found their second wind and were unstoppable. Connor Seipel (‘20) lit the fire with his offensive rebound and then back-layup coming right out of the half. The Bulldogs did find their way back to tie up the game and snuck in a small lead before being knocked back down by Landon Martin (’21) and Bertemes. Once the Tigers secured their seven-point lead they refused to let the Bulldogs come back. The Tigers ended the game on top, 87-78.
“Always good to start the season with a win,” Matt Croci, Tigers head coach, told wittenbergtigers.com. “Brooklyn has a good team and played very well. I thought our guys played with a lot of grit to pull out the W. Now we are looking forward to enjoying the rest of our stay in Brooklyn.”
Looking at the statistics, Seipel grabbed his first double-double of the season with 33 points and 18 rebounds. Bertemes racked up 16 points, Martin put up 15 points and Johnson had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks. Levi Boettcher (’22) rounded the team out with six points and lead in assists with six.
The Tigers faced off against Heidelberg University on Friday night, coming out victorious 59-48 before taking on Penn State-Behrend on Saturday and winning 65-60.
In their first game, the Student Princes took an early lead. But, Nora Hopkins (’21) sank a three-point shot that put the Tigers ahead, 11-9. Going into the second quarter the Tigers put up six more points and snatched a five-point lead over the Student Princes. In the second half, Heidelberg never found the opportunity to catch up to the Tigers, who won the game 59-48. Riley Culver (‘2o) and Korynne Berner (’20) both managed 12 points with Culver leading in rebounds with nine. Delaney Williams (’21) lead in assists with seven.
The second game of the weekend for the Tigers was against Penn State-Behrend, the Tigers captured an early lead and kept it through the first half. Going into the second half, the Tigers managed to keep Penn State- Behrend at bay and captured their second win, 65-60. The Tigers came out the champions of the Penn State-Behrend Tip-Off tournament, with Williams named MVP.
“We had to fight for it and we did it,” Kelly Mahlum, Wittenberg’s head coach, told wittenbergtigers.com. “Proud of our grit we showed on the road to win the tournament.”
Looking ahead, the men’s basketball team will have their home opener on Nov. 23 against Mount St. Joseph’s University, following the women’s opener against Transylvania University at 2 p.m.