Witt earns third date with Wooster


Nobody said anything to Scott Masin as he stepped to the line Tuesday at DePauw with Wittenberg’s season on the line, but seconds before in the huddle on the bench, coach Bill Brown gave Masin a boost of confidence.

“After he makes these two free throws,” said Brown, who then revealed the defensive strategy.

Hickory Hoosiers coach Norman Dale said the same thing in the movie before Ollie made the big shots in a tournament game. It must have worked for Masin because the junior post from Tipp City Bethel drained both foul shots with 11 seconds left to give Wittenberg a 63-62 lead.

DePauw’s Kevin Sullivan missed a shot at the buzzer, and the fifth-seeded Tigers (17-9) advanced to today’s 8 p.m. North Coast Athletic Conference tournament semifinal against top-seeded and 17th-ranked Wooster (22-4) at Timken Gymnasium.

Wooster swept Wittenberg in the regular season, but so did DePauw, and Wittenberg got revenge in the quarterfinals. Now the Tigers will try to do it again versus their biggest rivals.

It’s the opportunity Wittenberg hoped it would get after a 75-71 loss at Wooster on Feb. 9. That was a much closer game than Wooster’s 60-41 victory in Springfield on Dec. 1.

“When they came here, they definitely outplayed us and kind of made us look silly,” Masin said. “When we went up there, it was kind of a turning point. We were in a slump, and we played well and showed we can play with them and beat them. We can definitely go up there and do it this time.”

Wittenberg’s last win against Wooster in the NCAC tournament came in the 2006 championship game. The Tigers won 71-69 at Wooster, avenging two regular-season losses. Wooster beat the Tigers 88-77 in the 2010 championship game and 82-68 in the 2011 championship game.

The teams have met 11 times in the NCAC tournament, but always in the final until now.

Wittenberg takes some confidence into the game because it has won two road games in a row that few outside Springfield would have expected it to win. The Tigers hadn’t won at Hiram in four years, but won 68-62 last Saturday, and then beat a DePauw team that had just beaten Wooster.

“I definitely feel we have the belief,” Masin said. “If we come out with a different mindset, just like we did against DePauw, we can do the job.”

Masin has carried the Tigers’ offense in the last two games, scoring a career-high 26 points at Hiram and nearly equalling that with 25 at DePauw. He combined to make 21-of-27 free throws in those two games, so it was no surprise he found himself on the line in the final seconds.

“I got the ball inside and was trying to make it, and I got fouled,” Masin said. “You’ve got to do whatever you can at that point in the game. I had a lot of practice at the line, so I had a rhthym going.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Sports

Reds rumblings: Hunter Greene’s pro debut more than a week away, and he may hit before he pitches
Reds rumblings: Hunter Greene’s pro debut more than a week away, and he may hit before he pitches

If you’re eagerly awaiting the professional debut of Reds first-round draft choice Hunter Greene, you’d better not be holding your breath. The pitcher/shortstop has said that he’s more than a week away from the diamond, and suggested that he’ll swing a bat before he throws a pitch. Greene, the No. 2 overall pick of the MLB draft...
Ohio State Buckeyes get early start in preseason camp
Ohio State Buckeyes get early start in preseason camp

The NCAA eliminated two-a-day practices for college football teams this summer. That doesn’t mean the Ohio State Buckeyes, who start practice at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, won’t suffer in the heat as usual. “You can’t ever take away those dog days,” said Ohio State linebacker Chris Worley on Monday at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago...
Williams hopes to be all-conference performer for Flyers
Williams hopes to be all-conference performer for Flyers

All the members of the Dayton Flyers men’s basketball team see two Atlantic 10 championship trophies every time they visit the coaches’ offices at the Cronin Center. The nets, cut down in 2016 and again in 2017 at UD Arena, still hang over the trophies. Dayton had never won two straight conference titles until this March. Dayton’s...
Tecumseh grad McCloskey named Urbana women’s basketball coach
Tecumseh grad McCloskey named Urbana women’s basketball coach

Tecumseh High School graduate Andrea McCloskey on Wednesday was named the women’s basketball coach at Urbana University. McCloskey previously was a highly successful coach at Georgetown College, an NAIA program in Kentucky. “Urbana University is a great school that is moving in such a positive direction,” McCloskey said in a release...
Hartsock: Kessler to open Browns camp at QB, but job is wide open
Hartsock: Kessler to open Browns camp at QB, but job is wide open

The Browns have made a decision at quarterback, but it is by no means set in stone. Cleveland head coach Hue Jackson told reporters today that Kessler will take the first snaps when summer camp kicks off in Berea Thursday afternoon. “I’m going to probably start this out like we did in OTAs,” Jackson said. “Cody will walk out...
More Stories