Stellar Rebounding, Balanced Scoring Propels Wooster Past Kenyon 87-62

Eric Bulic
Danyon Hempy

The College of Wooster men's basketball team had five student-athletes in double figures and held a plus-18 edge in rebounding during an 87-62 win over host Kenyon College on Wednesday evening at Tomsich Arena in Gambier, Ohio.

Wooster's (17-7, 14-3 North Coast Athletic Conference) relentless pursuit of the ball really paid off in the first half in particular, as the Scots knocked down four of their second-chance looks in the stanza.  In fact, Wooster nearly had as many offensive rebounds (13) at halftime as Kenyon (5-19, 4-13 NCAC) had rebounds (16), and individually, sophomore Eric Bulic corralled a total of 11 first-stanza boards, including five on the offensive end.

In the scoring column, Wooster rattled off a 7-0 run to open the game with the seniors leading the way. First, Milt Davis finished and old-fashioned three-point play to start the stretch, and then, Dan Fanelly capped the clip with a layup. Notable, Fanelly's bucket moved the senior past W Association Hall of Famer Erich Riebe for eighth on the program's all-time scoring list, and it moved the forward into the top 20 in career scoring in NCAC history.

A few minutes later, Fanelly was at the center of a second 7-0 run that pushed Wooster's lead to 12 at 16-4 with 12:52 remaining. During that stretch, the senior scored the middle basket and then dumped a pass down to a wide-open Alex Baptiste, with the junior putting the exclamation point on the run with a dunk.

Wooster's last big scoring burst of the half came with 5:31 remaining when first-year Danyon Hempy knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and Davis caught a feed in stride on the break before outwaiting the Lords' defenders for a lay-in to make it 38-15 with 4:03 to go in the half, marking an 8-0 run in the span of 1:28.

Just under three minutes into the second half, Wooster went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 27 at 57-30. Fanelly book-ended the run with layups and had a hand in one of the Scots' two other buckets during the stretch, as the senior recorded a steal before dishing the ball off to sophomore Reece Dupler for an easy look.

Later in the stanza, Wooster pushed its lead out to 30 for the first time of the night on a 5-0 swing with a 3-pointer by Davis and a layup from Dupler that made it 70-40 with just over eight minutes remaining.

With just under six minutes left, a pair of free throws by Davis extended Wooster's lead to a game-high 31 at 76-45, and that advantage was matched 31 ticks later on a layup by junior Spencer Williams.

Hempy led Wooster on the night with a game-high 20 points, marking his third career 20-point game. The first-year finished the night 8-for-12 from the floor, including a blistering 4-for-6 from beyond the arc.

Dupler checked in right behind Hempy with 18 points in the game on 9-for-15 shooting, while Davis (14), Fanelly (10) and Williams (10) rounded out the Scots in double figures.

Bulic's final stat line included 17 rebounds – nine on the offensive end – to pair with a game-high four assists. Notable, Bulic's 17 rebounds matched Baptiste's team-high for the season set back at Whitman College on Dec. 18.

Alexander Powell paced Kenyon with 15 points, while as a team, the Lords were held to 35.8 percent (24-for-67) shooting.

Wooster closes out the regular season with a 7:30 p.m. home tilt against Wittenberg University (17-7, 11-6 NCAC) on Saturday. Fans are encouraged to wear white attire to "White Out" the Tigers.