June 13, 2024

Last Wednesday, the men’s basketball team picked up another conference win on-the-road at Kenyon. The final score was 80-75, with both teams scoring 49 points in the second half. This win brings the Tigers to 8-9 in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) and 10-14 overall.
With nine different lead changes, the Tigers faced a close match the entire night. A few breakaway points towards the end of the second half allowed the Tigers to lead the Lords 31-26 entering half-time.
Returning from half-time, the Tigers went on a nine-point run to start the second half, and were eventually interrupted by a three-point shot from the Lords. The 9-3 run looked like it had just about secured the game for the Tigers, as it sparked the Tigers to lead the game 51-43, that is until an eight-point run by a single Kenyon player tied it all up at 51.
Sophomore Cody Phillippi led the Tigers in scoring with an outstanding second half performance, where he scored 16 of his 20 points on the night. Sophomore Jaelin Williams added in 12 points of his own, while freshman Chris Sloneker added ten. The Tigers shot 47.2 percent from the field, with the offense spread out and every player contributing to the score with at least two points. The Tigers saw another exceptional night from the free throw line at 79.3 percent, going 23-29.
Once again, the Wittenberg defense out-rebounded its opponent, this time 38-30. Twenty-six of the total 38 rebounds were defensive boards. Sloneker, Williams and sophomore Shane Edwards all contributed six rebounds.

   Saturday, Feb. 21, the Tigers celebrated seniors John Albertson, Ben Bowen and Sam Collins before their final regular season game against the Hiram Terriers. In the seniors’ four years in the program they accumulated 925 points, 525 rebounds, 56 steals, 30 blocks, 190 assists and played in 195 games, before their senior post-season. Thus far, they have made two trips to the NCAA tournament (2012, 2014) and in 2012, they made it to the Elite 8.
            The senior day celebration fell solemn with a last second three-pointer that gave Hiram the lead and the game. The Tigers held the lead for almost the entire game until the last four seconds, even holding a 10-point lead going into the second half, a lead that was increased to 14 with just 10 minutes left in the game. The final score of the match-up was 55-53. This loss put the Tigers at a regular season record of 10-15 and conference record of 8-10.
            Sophomore Jaelin Williams led the offense for the Tigers, scoring 13 points. Williams also led the team in rebounds with six.
            In their last game in Pam Evans Smith Arena, Bowen and Collins contributed three and four points, respectively. Collins also pitched in five rebounds, while Bowen added one, and Albertson added two.
             The Tigers out-rebounded the Terriers 33-26. Wittenberg’s bench was also able to come up with 30 points for the Tigers, compared to Hiram’s bench of just 17.
            The Tigers look ahead to their post-season tournament, which will begin next Wednesday as the Tigers travel back to DePauw to face-off in the first round of the NCAC (North Coast Athletic Conference) tournament. 

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