WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Spencer Williams became the 10th Fighting Scot great to surpass 1,500 career points, and The College of Wooster men's basketball team picked up another tight North Coast Athletic Conference win, this time 65-57 over visiting DePauw University on Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.
|Senior Spencer Williams surpassed the 1,500 point mark during Saturday afternoon's win.|
Williams, who scored a game-high 20 points, weaved his way through the Tigers' (7-12, 3-9 NCAC) den with :38 remaining in the opening half, and earned the hard-fought finish to end the half right at the 1,500-point mark. Earlier in the half, Williams was at it again with his signature penetration leading to a fancy old-fashioned three-point play that tied the score at 11 with 11:00 to go. Junior Reece Dupler followed with a lay-in at the 9:35 mark in what marked the next points of the game to put Wooster back on top.
Both defenses controlled the game at the onset, and that carried over on Wooster's (15-4, 9-3 NCAC) end with a trio of noteworthy plays during a 12-0 run that resulted in a 20-11 Scots' lead at the 7:47 mark. First, junior Blake Blair logged a block prior to Dupler's lay-in. On the next possession, sophomore Trenton Tipton jumped in on the block party, secured the ensuing defensive rebound, and eight ticks later buried a 3-pointer.
Then, Dupler poked the ball away from DePauw's Ken Decker, and the Scots were off the races with Tipton finishing the fast-break layup. Dupler capped the 12-0 run with a lay-in of his own.
Similar to the way the majority of the season has played out, the lead didn't hold as David Vogel knocked down a 3-pointer to tie the game at 25 with 2:32 to go before halftime, but Wooster did open back up a five-point cushion at 32-27 thanks to a deep 3-pointer by first-year Keonn Scott and Williams' 1,500th career point.
DePauw turned in a strong offensive spurt to start the second half as an and-one by the Tigers' standout post Jack VandeMerkt briefly pushed DePauw in front 35-34 with 17:37 to go, but Wooster sophomore Danyon Hempy answered right back with an old-fashioned three-point play on the other end.
A 3-pointer by Nick Felke pulled the Tigers within one at 39-38 with 16:42 remaining. Wooster again had quick count led by the big men, who pushed the lead out to five when junior Eric Bulic found senior Alex Baptiste in the low post for the lay-in. In fact, Baptiste pushed the lead out to a co-game-high nine points at 49-40 just before the 12 minute mark with a jumper in the paint, but a Felke lay-in capped a 9-1 Tigers run that pulled DePauw within one at 50-49.
Wooster ramped up the efforts on both ends of the floor with Blair capping a two-on-one fast break, and Bulic followed suit with a steal and fast-break lay-in that had Wooster back up seven at 56-49 with 7:32 to go.
Down the stretch, two Wooster steals in the final two minutes and a 4-for-5 showing at the free throw line helped put the game away.
Williams, who logged his seventh 20-point game of the season, backed up his point haul with six rebounds. On the day, three Scots recorded at least six rebounds, including Baptiste who finished with a game-high eight. Dupler (9) and Baptiste (8) backed up Williams in the scoring column.
Of note, the Scots only turned the ball over eight times on the afternoon, and that's the fourth time over the last six games Wooster's logged single-digit turnovers.
Additionally, Wooster tallied eight blocks in the game marking the fifth time this season the Scots had at least seven blocks in a contest. Blair led the way with three swats, including a highlight-worthy one on VandeMerkt in the second half.
Josh Hall led three Tigers in double figures with 13 points.
Next, Wooster travels to Oberlin College (9-10, 3-9 NCAC) for an 8 p.m. tilt on Wednesday, Jan. 31.