No. 16 Wooster Falls in Battle of Defending Conference Champions, 81-67

WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Danyon Hempy and junior Dontae Williams combined for 41 points, but The College of Wooster men's basketball team was outshot by the University of Mount Union from beyond the arc, and that proved to be a major factor in the Purple Raiders' 81-67 win over the Fighting Scots on Wednesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.

Wooster (3-1), up to 16th in this week's Top 25 Poll, nearly climbed its way out of a 15-point first-half hole, as the Scots strung together an 11-0 spurt. Hempy took charge at the run's onset with six straight points, two of which came on a fast-break layup, as the psychology major led the runout after Mount Union's (3-2) D'Vontay Friga came up empty on a three-pointer. Senior Trenton Tipton picked up the torch for the last five points of the run. He pulled Wooster within 30-27 with 3:19 left in the half, thanks to a three-pointer from straight on.

Mount Union countered with an 8-1 stretch before Hempy found junior Peyton Bennington inside for a lay-in, which cut Wooster's deficit to 38-30. Junior Jaylen Franklin played a role in keeping the Scots within striking distance at the half, as he swatted aside Nathan Bower-Malone's buzzer-beating try.

Brandon Styers
Sophomore Brandon Styers knocked down a pair of three-pointers in the second half.

Sophomore Brandon Styers emerged as Wooster's bright spot from three-point land in the second half. The biology major checked in for the first time at the 11:23 mark, and less than 15 ticks later, connected from range. That trifecta pulled Wooster within 52-47, and it marked the fourth time the Scots were within five in the second half.

Later, two Williams free throws pulled Wooster with 54-50 with 9:51 to go. Styers canned his second three-pointer at the 7:55 mark, which made it a 59-53 game, but that's as close as the Scots came down the stretch.

Bennington's seven rebounds marked the game-high, while Hempy and sophomore Khaylen Mahdi dished out four assists each.

Wooster shot 40.7 percent (24-of-59) from the floor. However, the Scots were just 6-of-28 from beyond the arc. Wooster did have a season-high five blocked shots, three of which were turned in by Williams.

Bower-Malone's 22 points led all scorers, and he finished with a co-team-high six rebounds.

Mount Union, the first team to outrebound Wooster on the season, finished with an eight-board advantage. The Purple Raiders shot 48.3 percent (28-of-58) from the floor, 9-of-19 from three-point range, and made 16-of-18 free throws.

Next, Wooster (1-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) heads out on the road for the first time. The Scots are headed to Meadville, Pennsylvania, for an 8 p.m. game on Wednesday, December 4 against Allegheny College (5-1, 0-0 NCAC).