WASHINGTON, D.C. – The College of Wooster's Dan Fanelly delivered a throwback performance during the 1000th game of head coach Steve Moore's career, as the junior forward scored 45 points – the most by a Fighting Scot since 1970 – paving the way for a 96-83 victory over previously undefeated Lancaster Bible College in an opening-round NCAA Div. III Men's Basketball Championship game at Catholic University's DuFour Center on Friday.
Wooster (22-7) advances to the second round of the national tourney for the eighth consecutive season, and will face either host Catholic or Endicott College Saturday night.
Fanelly's 45 points included 21 field goals, which equaled an NCAA Div. III Tournament record for a single game, last accomplished by Gerald Reece of William Penn in 1981, and it tied a Wooster record, established by Tom Dinger back on Jan. 10, 1970.
Lancaster Bible (27-1), which entered the NCAA field with a No. 14 ranking and a 31-game win streak dating back to last season, accounted for the game's first points on a 3-pointer, then the Scots reeled off nine unanswered points and never trailed again.
The Wooster lead stretched to as much as 33-18 during the first half, courtesy of a 15-5 run that began with a 3-pointer by Milt Davis and a three-point play from Fanelly.
The Chargers, though, gained a little momentum going into halftime, having cut the margin to 41-31.
An early push in the second half by the Scots turned the 10-point game (45-35) into 57-39, with the 12-4 stretch capped by a Fanelly 3-ball.
Wooster maintained control from there, steadily extending its advantage into the 20s. The Scots led by 23 once (70-47), and it was 93-72 before Lancaster Bible closed with a strong last two minutes to make it a final 13-point margin.
Fanelly closed his scoring spree with a breakaway dunk that gave Wooster its final points, and the 96 were the most ever scored in the program's 57 NCAA Tournament games. The Scots also established national tourney highs as a team for field goals made (39), assists (25), and steals (9).
While Fanelly may have grabbed the headlines, Moore was pleased with the defensive effort, especially during the first half when Wooster held the Chargers to 33.3 percent from the floor (10-for-30). The strong finish allowed them to finish at 43.9 percent for the game (25-for-57), compared to 59.1 percent for the Scots (39-for-66).
Thirty of Fanelly's 45 points came during the second half when he shot a perfect 14-of-14 from the field. Overall, he finished 21-of-24 for a sterling .875 rate, and his scoring total was the third-best in school history, only short of Dinger's 48 points against Ohio Wesleyan University on Jan. 10, 1970, and Joe Dennison's 46 versus Heidelberg University on March 3, 1959. Fanelly added 12 rebounds for his sixth double-double of the season as well as six assists.
Davis added a career-best 18 points, which included 7-of-8 field goals. He also had five rebounds and four assists without a turnover, while Spencer Williams put up a similar line of 14 points, six assists, and five boards.
Reece Dupler also stood out with nine points, seven rebounds, and six steals, the latter being a new Wooster record for an NCAA Tournament game.
For Lancaster Bible, Bryce Williams scored 29 points, 20 coming during the second half.
Tip-off for Saturday's second-round game is set for 7 p.m.