WOOSTER, Ohio – A balanced, lights out offensive performance propelled the seventh-ranked College of Wooster men's basketball team to a 104-65 win over Oberlin College in a contest that marked the season and North Coast Athletic Conference Opener as part of the 23rd annual Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.
Wooster (1-0, 1-0 NCAC) was very methodical in its shot selection on the evening as the Fighting Scots connected on 62.5 percent (20-for-32) in the first half, and then upped that percentage to 63.3 (19-for-30) in the second half to finish at 62.9 percent (39-for-62) for the game.
|Wooster had five student-athletes in double figures in the scoring column, including Mitch Balser, who had 10 points.|
Notable, tonight marked the first time Wooster shot over 60 percent as a team since the Scots connected on 60.3 percent (41-of-68) of their field goals against Denison University in the quarterfinals of the 2015 NCAC Tournament.
Not to be overlooked was the Fighting Scots' relentless defense that only allowed six points in the first 11:47 of the opening half, and outrebounded the Yeomen (0-1, 0-1 NCAC) 3-to-1 (25-9) in the stanza with 20 of the rebounds coming on the defensive end.
Wooster jumped out to a 15-2 lead just under 5:30 into the game. During the opening stretch, the Scots connected on 4-of-5 shots at one point with four different starters contributing to that clip.
Midway through the half, Wooster went on an 11-0 run to open up a 26-6 lead with 8:28 remaining in the half. Junior Alex Baptiste capped the run with a steal, and then finished the fast-break opportunity with a dunk off the set-up by sophomore Reece Dupler.
A few minutes later, senior Dan Fanelly started a 7-0 spurt with an and-one play, a clip that eventually made it a 35-16 Wooster lead when Dupler finished a lay-in with 5:04 left in the half.
Down the stretch sophomore Mitch Balser heated up as the guard scored the last seven Wooster points of the half, including a 3-pointer with :30 remaining that made it a 49-26 Wooster advantage.
A 13-3 run headlined the second half with the Scots utilizing tremendous depth. Highlight this stretch was an and-one lay-up and free throw by junior Derek Schwarz and 3-pointers by freshman Danyon Hempy and Balser.
Wooster's depth was on full display as 14 of the 15 student-athletes who entered the game found the scoring column and 13 of them had at least one rebound.
Hempy led the way individually, and turned in a memorable debut with a 12-point night off of the bench. Baptiste, Fanelly and sophomore Spencer Williams backed that effort up with 11 points each while Balser rounded out those in double figures with 10 points.
Coincidentally, the last game Wooster had five student-athletes in double figures came against Oberlin, and that occurred during the 2015-16 regular-season finale.
Sophomore Eric Bulic led Wooster with 10 rebounds on the night, and as a team, Wooster finished the night with a 2-to-1 (46-23) edge on the glass.
Other notable performances included Fanelly's five assists and Baptiste's three steals.
Oberlin was paced by Jack Poyle's 16 points and Eric Holt's 14 points and seven rebounds.
Wooster closes out the Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic with a 6 p.m. tilt against Defiance College (0-1) on Saturday, Nov. 19.