WOOSTER, Ohio – While the 21st-ranked College of Wooster men's basketball team didn't fill Kauke Hall's arch, there was plenty of "filling" on the stat sheet, as the Fighting Scots knocked down 18 three-pointers – the fifth-most in program history – during a 106-80 victory over Hiram College on Sunday afternoon.
Junior Danyon Hempy started the three-point parade off at the 19:42 mark. However, it was a heavy dosage of offense from inside the arc to start the game, with seniors Reece Dupler and Trey Miller knocking down two-point jumpers during Wooster's (14-3, 9-1 North Coast Athletic Conference) game-opening 11-4 stretch.
Hiram (8-9, 5-5 NCAC) was within three after Jalen Kirksey's stick-back at the 13:32 mark made it 20-17, but Wooster quickly heated up, starting with back-to-back three-pointers from Hempy and junior Trenton Tipton, the latter of which made it a 28-17 game with 10:47 to go in the half.
Sophomore Keonn Scott was also factoring in the flow of the game in a multitude of roles at this juncture with assists on both three-pointers, and prior to that, the guard helped get the offense back on track with a jumper.
Leading up to halftime, Scott, freshman Khaylen Mahdi, and Hempy knocked down three-pointers to give Wooster eight for the opening stanza. Hempy added a dunk just before the buzzer to make it a 15-point game at 55-40.
Wooster, which made 10 of its first 17 second-half three-pointers, started the party right away, as Tipton and Dupler were both on point during the first minute. Later, Tipton's three-pointer at the 14:30 mark upped Wooster's lead to 72-47, and it marked the first of eight three-pointers during an 11:07 stretch. During that span, the Scots hit just three two-point field goals.
|Senior Eric Bulic drives the baseline during No. 21 Wooster's 106-80 win over Hiram on Sunday.|
The second half also featured an uptick on the defensive end for Wooster, which held Hiram to 42.1 percent (16-for-38) from the field, after the Terriers were north of 50 percent (17-for-33) in the first half. Sophomore Dontae Williams helped key the efforts with a pair of blocked shots in the second half, while Tipton added a pair of steals.
Hempy poured in a game-high 24 points on 9-for-16 shooting, which included a 5-for-9 showing from beyond the arc. The junior corralled six rebounds – the second-most in the game – and dished out three assists.
For the third straight game, Scott upped his career-high in points – this time to 22 – on an exceptional 7-for-14 showing from the floor, which included a 5-for-10 ledger from three-point land. The sophomore dished out a game-high six assists.
Thanks in large part to four triples, Tipton also upped his career-high in points to 19. The junior added four rebounds and three steals to his Sunday afternoon stat line.
Other key stats included 18 points by Dupler and five assists by senior Eric Bulic. Williams' eight rebounds marked the game-high.
Wooster shot 53.4 percent (39-for-73) for the game, was 18-for-35 from beyond the arc, and finished with a plus-nine mark in the rebounding column.
Noteworthy, Wooster's 18 three-pointers are the most since the Scots knocked down 19 against Hanover College on Nov. 30, 2008.
Sherman Dean III led four Terriers in double figures with 15 points and his four rebounds also marked the team high. Kirksey and Brodgie Gordon added 11 points each.
Hiram shot 46.5 percent (33-for-71) for the game and was 8-for-17 from beyond the arc.
Next, Wooster is at Allegheny College (7-9, 3-7 NCAC) for a 7 p.m. game on Wednesday, Jan. 24.