Saturday men: Wooster gets rivalry W

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Najee Hardaway scored a game-high 24 points to lead Wooster.
Wooster athletics photo

Wooster battled past archrival Wittenberg in the 125th meeting between the two programs, while St. Lawrence held no. 25 RPI to 37 points and UW-Oshkosh upended No. 15 UW-La Crosse in Saturday’s Division III men’s basketball action.

The 125th meeting between Wooster and Wittenberg turned out to be another doozy, as Wooster came away with a 79-76 win. Two strips and a poke-away steal in a four-possession span enabled the Scots to take their first lead of the night, and Wooster held on to win their fourth consecutive meeting against Wittenberg, leading the all-time series 65-60. Wittenberg’s (7-8, 4-4 NCAC) Trey Killens had a chance to send the game into overtime, but his pull-up floater from midcourt was well short. Najee Hardaway scored a game-high 24 points as Wooster improved to 12-3, 6-1.

St. Lawrence upset no. 25-ranked RPI on the road on Saturday afternoon, taking down the Engineers 50-37. RPI never cut the lead to fewer than 11 points in the second half, and Will Engelhardt and Storey each went 2-for-2 from the line in the final 23 seconds to ice the game. “This was a great bounce-back win,” said coach Chris Downs. “This was a game featuring two very good defensive teams, and points are hard to come by. We need to work on our offense moving forward.”

No. 3 Mount Union forced five shot clock violations en route to a 74-65 victory at Otterbein. The Purple Raiders (14-1, 7-1 OAC) were led by senior Braedon Poole with 23 points and seven rebounds. Darrell Newsom scored double digits with 12 points. Collen Gurley hit a 3 with 14:51 left in the second half to put the Raiders up 44-39, but Otterbein went on an 11-2 run to take a 50-46 lead. Mount Union used a 16-4 run to open up the lead to 62 to 54 with 6:01 remaining as Dante Collier and Newsom scored five points each in the run. Over the final six minutes, Mount Union got its largest lead with 55 seconds left in the game on a free throw from Collier. Mount Union shot 19 of 21 from the free throw line to ice the game down the stretch.

Sophomores Luke Frazier and Luke Chicone combined for 38 points as No. 10 John Carroll edged Wilmington 66-64. Frazier, who transferred to the Blue Streaks from Division I Ohio University, scored 18 points in 29 minutes, while Luke Chicone, who transferred from Division I Youngstown State, had 20 points and a team-high six rebounds. Andrew Clark put up seven points in a span of three minutes for Wilmington to cut the lead to three with two minutes left. But the Blue Streaks shut the door on the Quakers with a clutch basket to put JCU up by five with a minute left. Even with a late layup from Wilmington’s Abdul Kanu, John Carroll’s defense held strong. The Blue Streaks improved their record to 8-0 in home games.

Christopher Newport began a two-game trip to the Boston area on Saturday, and recorded a 90-79 victory over Bridgewater State. The Captains, now 16-3, outscored the Bears in the second half, 56-38, to erase a seven-point halftime deficit to win the first-ever meeting of the schools. Five Captains reached double figures at the Tinsley Center, led by fifth-year senior Matthew Brodie’s 20 points. Caleb Furr posted a career-high 17 points, with a dozen coming after halftime, to help propel John Krikorian’s squad. Junior Jahn Hines (16), senior Rodney Graves (13), and sophomore Ty Henderson (11) also reached double figures as the Captains made 18 of 33 shots in the second stanza to gain the lead and finish off the Bears.

UW-Oshkosh handed No. 15 UW-La Crosse lost its second in as many weeks and improved to 12-5, 5-1 WIAC with a 78-73 win. UW-L led 65-63 with 2:54 remaining, but Hunter Plamann hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Titans a four-point lead. Plamann finished with 22 points for UW-Oshkosh.

Washington & Jefferson erased a double-digit halftime deficit to escape with an 84-83 road win over Grove City. The Presidents (12-4 overall, 9-2 PAC), who trailed for the vast majority of the game, erased a 12-point second half deficit to rally for the win. Grove City (6-9, 4-6) led 63-51 with 11:10 to play but W&J used its full court pressure to force 28 Wolverine turnovers. W&J closed the game with a 9-2 run over the final 2:52. A three-point play by Nick Gearhart sparked the run. Gearhart then tacked on a pair of free throws on W&J’s next possession to trim the deficit to 81-80. A pair of free throws by Dirk Daniels gave the Presidents the lead for good at 82-81 with 2:24 to play. Matt Seidl converted a layup to make it a three-point lead with 1:21 remaining. That would be the last points for the Presidents, who held on for the one-point victory despite missing four free throws in the final 15 seconds.

Matt Lucas scored 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting from 3-point range as Cairn defeated Rosemont 77-68 in a battle for first place in the Colonial States Athletic Conference. The Highlanders (9-6, 4-0 CSAC) led 67-64 with 2:37 to play but took control on one of Lucas’ conference-record 3-pointers and six consecutive free throws to put the game away.

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