WOOSTER, Ohio – The 17th-ranked College of Wooster men's basketball team turned in its second-highest shooting percentage of the season, and the Fighting Scots accumulated a plus-21 rebounding margin during an 82-65 North Coast Athletic Conference win over DePauw University on Saturday afternoon at Timken Gymnasium.
Wooster's (5-3, 3-2 NCAC) outside shooting was on point from the start as the Scots knocked down 3-pointers on two of their first three possessions, and senior Milt Davis added a layup on the Scots next trip down the floor, enabling the College to open up an 8-0 lead with 17:25 left in the first half.
Wooster's stellar free throw shooting pushed the lead to 11 (20-9) with 11:12 to go in the opening stanza as the Scots combined to sink six straight attempts at the charity stripe, with Davis accounting for the final two, upping the lead to double figures for the second time in the game.
Next, DePauw's (3-5, 1-2 NCAC) Luke Latter trimmed the Tigers deficit back to single-digits one last time on his only bucket of the opening half.
Then, junior Spencer Williams took over accounting for six of Wooster's next eight points, and DePauw didn't score during that span, enabling the Scots to open up a 28-11 edge with 7:17 left in the half.
Later, an and-one play by senior Dan Fanelly capped a 9-0 run with the forward accounting for the final five points of that stretch, to make it a 39-16 game with 1:22 to go in the half.
Notable, DePauw's 17 first-half points marked the second time this season Wooster has held an opponent to under 25 points in the opening period.
The two teams went back-and-forth in the second half until a 12-2 spurt by Wooster extended the lead to a game-high 29 points at 60-31. Freshman Trenton Tipton capped the rally with the first of his two 3-pointers on the afternoon with the shot clock winding down. Earlier in the run, sophomore Reece Dupler found success inside and backed his way into the paint for two well-earned buckets.
The Tigers had success offensively late in the game, and in fact outscored Wooster 22-11 over the final 8:05 of the game. Nate Jahn had the hot hand for DePauw down the stretch with five points that came during a 6-0 run that cut Wooster's lead under 20 for the duration of the game.
Four student-athletes finished the afternoon in double-figures in the scoring column for Wooster, including three starters – Dupler (17), Fanelly (15), and Williams (11) – with Dupler's 17 points ranking one shy of his career-high. Of note, Tipton provided a big spark off of the bench and went 3-for-5 from the floor and 2-2 at the free-throw line en route to 10 points.
For the game, Wooster shot 31-for-60 (51.7 percent) from the floor, including 7-for-12 from 3-point range.
Wooster controlled the glass all afternoon, and finished with a 46-25 edge on rebounding with junior Alex Baptiste and Fanelly sharing top honors for the game with seven boards each.
Jack VandeMerkt finished with a game-high 18 points to lead DePauw, while Latter finished with 15 – eight below his season average.
Next, Wooster travels to No. 4 Whitman College (4-0) for a 7 p.m. EST contest on Saturday, Dec. 18.