WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Dan Fanelly tied the game with a step-through lay-in with 4.9 seconds remaining in regulation, and The College of Wooster had a look at a game-winner in regulation while a game-tying 3-pointer hit the rim at the buzzer in overtime, as No. 25 Washington University in Saint Louis took a thrilling 94-91 game in the finale of the 54th annual E.M. "Mose" Hole/Wooster Kiwanis Classic on Friday evening in Timken Gymnasium.
The end of regulation featured a flurry of activity as WashU (8-3) was whistled for a travel with 12.2 ticks left, which gave Wooster (6-6) plenty of time to feed the ball into Fanelly down low. Then, on the ensuing possession, WashU committed another turnover with 2.1 seconds remaining, giving Wooster the final chance in regulation.
In overtime, the Bears' Jake Knupp split a pair of free throws to make it a 3-point game with 2.6 seconds remaining, and the Scots quickly got the ball down the court enabling senior Milt Davis to hoist an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer than clipped the rim.
However, Davis and the Scots were on-point in the first half as Wooster connected on seven of its first 10 field goal tries of the night, including a 3-pointer by Davis to open up an early 11-5 lead with 16:31 to go in the stanza.
At the other end of the floor, WashU was equally as effective offensively, and the Bears combined to make eight of their first 10 field goals in the contest with a layup by tournament MVP Kevin Kucera capping an 8-0 run giving the Bears a 21-18 edge with 11:44 to go in the half.
|Sophomore Reece Dupler drives to the basket against WashU. He finished with 14 points and earned a spot on the all-tournament team.|
Later, sophomore Reece Dupler, who was named to the all-tournament team, started an 11-2 run with five straight points, including a steal and a fast-break layup to give Wooster an eight-point cushion at 34-26 with 8:05 to go in the opening half.
Towards the end of the period, Wooster began to find its range as the Scots used a trio of 3-pointers, including two from all-tournament team honoree Spencer Williams to open up an 11-point (51-40) halftime lead.
The two teams went back and forth for the first 3:30 of the second half prior to Fanelly stepping up with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer to start a 7-0 run and open up a game-high 17-point lead with 15:27 to go in regulation.
Then, WashU upped the defensive intensity with three steals playing a key role in an 11-2 run that trimmed Wooster's lead back to single digits at 66-58. Later, an 11-0 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer by Will Galik gave the Bears its first lead of the half at 69-68 with just over 10 minutes to go in the stanza.
The two teams both led by three over the final 10 minutes of regulation, a span that featured six lead changes and five ties. With just under a minute to go, Kucera put WashU up two (83-81) with a 3-pointer that stood as the difference until Fanelly's game-tying lay-in.
Wooster never led in overtime, although jumpers by Fanelly tied the score at 87 with 1:34 remaining and pulled the Scots within one with 56 ticks left.
From there the defenses took over with Fanelly and junior Alex Baptiste recording blocks on the same possession for Wooster and WashU's Matt Highsmith came away with a steal on the ensuing possession.
Fanelly led the way offensively for Wooster with 24 points, while Williams chipped in a season-high 23 – two shy of his career-high. Joining the duo in double-figures on the scoresheet were Dupler (14), first-year Danyon Hempy (11), and Davis (10). Other notable statistical performances included sophomore Mitch Balser's four assists and three assists each by sophomore Eric Bulic, Dupler, and Fanelly.
WashU was paced by Kucera's double-double that featured a game-high 26 points and 11 assists. The Bears received a big boost from Andrew Sanders who scored 15 points to couple with two blocks and a steal en route to defensive MVP honors. Clinton Hooks chipped in 10 points in the contest to earn a spot on the all-tournament team.
In Friday's first game, all-tournament team honoree Ben Simpson's classic-high 29 points and 13 rebounds propelled Ohio Wesleyan University (7-4) to an 85-63 win over Hobart College (6-3). The Statesmen's Luke Ruddy earned the final all-tournament team nod.
Wooster (3-2 North Coast Athletic Conference) hosts Ohio Wesleyan (4-0 NCAC) in its first game of 2017 on Saturday, Jan. 7. Tip is slated for 4 p.m.