2019 Basketball Preview
Wittenberg’s Men’s Basketball program is the “All-Time Winningest NCAA Division III Men’s Basketball Program”. This past season, the team went 27-3 overall and came out on the other side as the NCAC Champions. The Tigers were ranked as the third team in the nation during the season last year after phenomenal performances from Jacob Bertemes, ’20, Connor Seipel, ’20 and alum Chad Roy, ’18.
The men’s team went 16-1 at home and 9-2 away, where they averaged 81.6 points per game. At the conclusion of last season, the Tigers graduated three seniors: Roy, Chris Sloneker and Logan Boyd leaving three spots to be filled for the 2018- 2019 season .
Wittenberg’s Women’s Basketball program went 16-12 last season. They went 7-5 at home and 8-4 away, veraging 65.1 points per game . When the season ended, the team lost two seniors: Haley Dannemiller and Becca Ziska-,which left two holes in the lineup for the 2018-2019 season.
A Look Forward:
The Men’s Basketball team gained five freshmen to start the year: Harrison Gough, Levi Boettcher, Kaleb Phillips, William Swartz, Joe Fontanella and Garrett Pumphrey.
The season officially starts on Nov. 16 for the team as they head to Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania for the Muhlenberg Classic. They are set to take on Goucher College at 3:00 p.m. Heading into the season, Wittenberg alum Matt Croci will eturn for his third year as head coach for the Tigers.
The team has already gotten a start on their season after scrimmaging Bluffton at home on Nov. 6.
During the scrimmage, everyone on the team got a chance to touch the court. There were several shots taken and made from upperclassmen on the team such as Bertemes, Jordan Pumroy, ’20, Seipel, James Johnson, ’21, and Rashaad Ali-Shakir, ’21. The Beavers of Bluffton fought hard for the two halves of the scrimmage but weren’t able to put the points on the board. The Tigers outscored the Beavers in both halves and used their killer defense to keep Bluffton at bay.
The Tigers looked well practiced and ready to take on the season and live up to their NCAC Champions title. Their first home game of the season will be Dec. 1 at 3:00 p.m., where they will be taking on the Oberlin College Yeomen.
The Women’s Basketball team gained three new freshmen to start off the season: Mackenzie Snyder, McKenna Baker and Samantha Wyatt.
The Tigers are currently coached by head coach Kelly Mahlum. This will be her seventh season as a coach for the Tigers after being elevated from associate head coach before the 2013-2014 season.
The women’s team has already kicked off their season, against Transylvania University aking on the Pioneers on Saturday, Nov. 10. While the Tigers took a loss, 51-57, they held their own with the Pioneers and outscored them in the fourth quarter. Overall, the team looks sharp and is ready to continue on into the season.
Next up for the Tigers, they will be taking on the North Park University Vikings at the North Park Tip-Off Classic on Friday, Nov. 16. The team’s first home game of the season will be Nov. 20, where the Tigers will be facing Capital University at 7:30 p.m.