Saint John Fisher College, ranked 19th in D3hoops.com's preseason top 25 shot, caught fire late in the first half, and strung together a 16-2 run to shift all the momentum its way during an eventual 90-57 win over The College of Wooster men's basketball team on Tuesday evening at Manning and Napier Varsity Gym in Pittsford, N.Y.
Wooster (2-1) couldn't muster any offensive consistency on the night as the Scots finished 19-for-57 from the field. Nonetheless, Wooster was competitive in the early stages of the game, led by bench play from senior Alex Baptiste and freshman Keonn Scott.
Baptiste connected on his first field goal of the season at the 13:41 mark, and it came via a layup after a fine offensive rebound. That sparked the Scots for a bit as the basket pulled Wooster within four at 10-6, and not long after, junior Blake Blair had a big block at the defensive end of the floor.
A few minutes later, Baptiste cleaned up on the offensive glass again when his second put-back of the tilt pulled the Scots within one possession with 11:50 to go in the half.
Wooster stayed within striking distance for the next few minutes, as similar to the Scots, St. John Fisher (2-2) started cold from the floor, and at one point had a 3:04 scoring drought after Sammy Robinson bumped the lead out to 14-10 following Baptiste's second bucket.
Scott's play on the court keyed a brief lead for Wooster before St. John Fisher started to heat up offensively. The newcomer nailed a pull-up jumper at the 7:50 mark to pull Wooster within three at 16-13, and a jumper with 6:45 to go in the first half made it a one-point game. Then, on the other end of the floor, Scott poked the ball away from the Cardinals' James Leon, and on the ensuing offensive possession, junior Reece Dupler drove down the lane for a layup to give Wooster its lone lead of the night at 19-18 with 6:14 to go.
St. John Fisher's Ryan Henderson drained a 3-pointer :20 after Dupler's layup, and the field goal sparked the Cardinals on a 12-0 run that was part of a larger 16-2 spurt which pulled St. John Fisher out to a 34-21 lead with 2:01 to go in the half.
Blair knocked down an early 3-pointer in the second half to pull Wooster within 15 at 42-27 with 17:29 remaining, but that was as close as the Scots' came to the Cardinals the rest of the way as the junior's outside shot came in the midst of an 11-3 St. John Fisher run.
Hempy provided a spark for the Scots with just over 15 minutes remaining with a layup in traffic, and he went on to score nine points in the half to pair with four rebounds, but the Cardinals aggressiveness on both ends of the floor kept the Scots from mounting a lengthy run.
Williams led the Scots with 12 points, and other stats to note for Wooster included two blocks each by Blair and junior Eric Bulic.
Tyler English scored a game-high 23 points for the Cardinals, and he logged a double-double with 12 rebounds. Overall, St. John Fisher finished with a 47-28 edge on the glass.
For the game, St. John Fisher shot 53.2 percent (33-of-62 from the floor), and 44 of the Cardinals' 90 points came in the paint.
Wooster faces another tall order on Saturday as the Scots host fourth-ranked Hanover College (3-0) at 4 p.m. at Timken Gymnasium. The Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2017 NCAA Div. III Championships.