WOOSTER, Ohio – Sophomore Reece Dupler led five Fighting Scots in double figures with a career-high 21 points as The College of Wooster men's basketball team won its opener at the 54th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic over Hobart College 85-72 on Thursday evening at Timken Gymnasium.
Wooster (6-5) clicked in all facets in the first half, but the Scots' 3-point shooting stood out in particular as Wooster combined to knock down seven trifectas in the opening 20 minutes on 17 attempts. Two of those came during an early 10-0 run as Dupler and first-year Danyon Hempy connected from long range to enable Wooster to open up a 14-4 edge with 13:36 left in the half. During the run, the Scots went a perfect 4-for-4 from the floor, but the defense played a big role in the transition buckets as junior Alex Baptiste and Hempy contributed a block and steal respectively during the clip.
|First-year Danyon Hempy caps a fastbreak with a dunk after coming up with a steal on the defensive end of the floor seconds earlier.|
Just over a minute later, Wooster's defense-into-offense theme continued with Hempy finishing off his second steal with a dunk at the other end of the floor, and Dupler connecting on a 3-pointer after a swipe by sophomore Eric Bulic to extend the lead back to double digits at 19-7.
Later in the half, senior Dan Fanelly knocked down a 3-pointer to give Wooster a first-half high 18-point lead at 32-14, but Hobart (5-3) countered with a 10-0 clip before a trio of Wooster free throws extended the lead back to double figures.
In the second half, senior Milt Davis keyed a 12-3 run with nine points, including six on a pair of 3-pointers, to help push the lead to 21 at 54-33 with 15:47 remaining.
Just over 3-minutes later, sophomore Mitch Balser knocked down a 3-pointer, and Hempy scored the next five points to cap a 10-0 run and up Wooster's advantage to 25 points (66-41) in the process with 10:40 remaining. Just over two minutes later, Dupler drained a jumper to cap a 6-2 burst and open the lead to a game-high 26 points (72-46) with 8:20 remaining.
From there, Hobart doubled-up on Wooster 26-13 for the remainder of the game with 10 points coming from Colin Doughtery. Hobart trimmed Wooster's lead to 11 twice in the final minute, but the Scots quickly upped their edge back to 13 both times at the charity stripe.
Dupler was joined in double figures in the scoring column by Fanelly (19), Hempy (14), Williams (12) and Davis (11). Other notable statistical performances included Balser's five assists, and Hempy's three steals.
Hobart was paced by Doughtery's 17 points, while Luke Ruddy chipped in 15 on the scoresheet.
Of note, Wooster's win marked the 10th-straight year the Scots have won their opener at the "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic.
In the first game of the day, 25th-ranked Washington University in Saint Louis (7-3) topped North Coast Athletic Conference rival Ohio Wesleyan University (6-4) 82-66. Matt Highsmith led the Bears in scoring with 17 points off the bench, while Clinton Hooks recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Nate Axelrod paced Ohio Wesleyan with a game-high 22 points to pair with five assists.
Wooster caps play at the "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic with a 7 p.m. tilt against WashU on Friday, while Hobart and Ohio Wesleyan square off at 5 p.m. Fans can gain half-price admission to general seating areas with the donation of two clothing items to benefit Goodwill.