Witt’s comeback falls short


For a brief moment, Wittenberg had its arch-rival Wooster on its heels Saturday. The Scots dominated the Tigers in December and controlled this one for most of the way until the momentum turned midway through the second half.

Sophomore guard Ben Syroka, who wore a flashy Tiger shirt he picked up at Wal-Mart in Springfield in warmups, pulled the Tigers back from a 13-point deficit almost by himself with eight quick points. Then freshman Alex Fultz drained a 3-pointer.

With seven minutes left, Wittenberg led its biggest rival by one, but that’s where the 14th-ranked Scots showed their experience and talent, scoring the next 10 points and hanging on to win 75-71 at Timken Gymnasium.

“I think it shows a little progress on our part,” Syroka said. “It’s still obviously disappointing losing to Wooster, but we’re headed in the right direction. We have a couple more games, and we’re confident going to the conference tournament.”

The Tigers (15-8, 8-6) still have third place to themselves in the North Coast Athletic Conference with two games to play. Despite the loss, they still have to be feeling good about themselves. After all, Wooster beat them 60-41 on Dec. 1.

“I’ve liked our team all year long,” Wittenberg coach Bill Brown said. “We don’t have the physical skills and talent we’ve had in a lot of other years, but we score really high in the intangibles: desire, determination, perseverance, a fair degree of toughness. That’s huge.”

DePauw, Kenyon and Denison are right on Wittenberg’s heels. All three are 7-7. DePauw was upset by Oberlin 51-49 Saturday. DePauw plays at Wittenberg on Wednesday.

Wooster (20-3, 13-1) had already clinched the regular-season title. It swept the regular-season series from the Tigers for the first time since 2009.

The Scots fell behind 7-2 early, but they led 35-26 at halftime. They stretched the advantage to 49-36 with 13:48 left in the second half. Then the Tigers went on a 14-0 run. Syroka had all eight of his points in that span.

“We all know we can play with these guys,” Syorka said. “We just had to be confident in ourselves and knock down some shots. The two-three zone kind of stymied their offense and their dribble-drive scheme. We executed for a good eight or nine-minute stretch on offense, and we really had them on the ropes. They just kept hitting shots.”

Two 3-pointers by Wooster’s Doug Thorpe, who shared the team lead with Kenny DeBoer with 20 points, stopped Wittenberg’s momentum. The Tigers still didn’t go away, cutting the deficit to 64-61 on a three-point play by Zack Leahy with two minutes left, but Wooster answered with a 3-pointer by Jalen Goodwin.

Leahy led the Tigers with 19 points. Scott Masin added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Sam Collins scored 11.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Ohio State’s Dixon on forgoing NFL Draft: ‘Sometimes it’s bigger than the money’
Ohio State’s Dixon on forgoing NFL Draft: ‘Sometimes it’s bigger than the money’

Johnnie Dixon stood next to Parris Campbell and Terry McLaurin on Friday at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center. All three Ohio State Buckeyes wide receivers met with reporters together. That’s become a tradition with that position group. On this day, it made extra sense because all three could have decided to leave Ohio State and enter...
Report: Jeremy Springer to follow Kevin Sumlin, join Arizona as special teams coordinator
Report: Jeremy Springer to follow Kevin Sumlin, join Arizona as special teams coordinator

Jeremy Springer is going to follow his boss west from Texas A&M to Arizona, as he is set to join Kevin Sumlin’s staff with the Wildcats as the special teams coordinator. The move is upward for Springer, who spent the 2017 season working under then-Aggies special team coordinator Jeff Banks, who is now in the same...
Texas Tech freshman shatters 20-year school record in 200 meter dash
Texas Tech freshman shatters 20-year school record in 200 meter dash

Texas Tech freshman Divine Oduduru posted a time of 20.49 seconds in the 200 meter dash on Friday, setting a new program record for the event. The previous Texas Tech record for the event was 20.8 seconds. Oduduru’s time in the event stands as the best in the nation. The Ughelli, Nigeria native is a five-time African Junior Champion...
Report: Former LSU star Tim Quarterman arrested for ramming police car, leading officers on high-speed chase
Report: Former LSU star Tim Quarterman arrested for ramming police car, leading officers on high-speed chase

Just a few weeks ago, former LSU basketball star Tim Quarterman signed to play with Jiangsu Dragons in China, only for the deal to fall through at the last minute. And after what happened on Monday night, Quarterman is surely wishing he was halfway across the globe like he thought he would be. According to a report...
Report: Tee Martin signs multi-year extension with USC
Report: Tee Martin signs multi-year extension with USC

Tee Martin will be spending a few more years in Southern California as he has agreed to a multi-year extension to stay as the offensive coordinator at USC, per Bruce Feldman. Martin’s name had been bouncing around for quite a few vacancies during this offseason, including him interview for the Oakland Raiders...
More Stories