Wittenberg clinches share of NCAC title with 22nd straight win

12:36 p.m Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 Sports
Wittenberg huddles at the end of practice on Monday, Feb. 5, 2018, at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

The undefeated, third-ranked Wittenberg Tigers clinched a share of the North Coast Athletic Conference regular-season championship, their first in six years, with an 84-72 victory over Wabash on Wednesday at Pam Evans Smith Arena.

Here are seven things to know about the victory:

1. NCAC standings: The Tigers (22-0, 15-0) own a three-game lead over Wooster (18-4, 12-3) with three games to play. This is Wittenberg’s first NCAC title since it won the championship outright in the 2011-12 season. It’s trying to become the first team to go undefeated in league play since 2003-04 when it finished 16-0.

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2. More dominance: This was Wittenberg’s 13th double-digit victory in a row. It leads the NCAC in scoring margin (plus 17.3 points per game).

3. Road ahead: Wittenberg can clinch the outright title with one more victory in its final three games. It plays at Hiram (13-9, 9-6) at 2 p.m. Saturday, plays at Ohio Wesleyan (15-7, 10-5) at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 and closes the regular season at home against Wooster at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 17.

4. Scoring milestone: Chad Roy scored 22 points on 6-of-7 shooting. He made 10 of 10 free throws. He now has 1,018 points in his career.

Roy is the 33rd player in Wittenberg history to score 1,000 points. He’s the first to reach the mark since Scott Masin (1,056) in 2014.

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5. Streak continues: Wittenberg needs four more wins to tie the school and NCAC record for consecutive victories. The 1993-94 team won 26 straight.

6. Season sweep: Wittenberg swept the season series from Wabash for the second straight season. The Tigers led 19-5 less than six minutes into the game. Wabash made things interesting in the second half and trailed 70-64 with 4:25 to play.

Wittenberg made 6 of 6 free throws in the final 90 seconds to clinch the victory. The Tigers made 22 of 30 free throws in the game and shot 49.1 percent from the field. Wabash shot 39.7 percent.

7. Balanced attack: Jake Bertemes scored 18 points on 7-of-15 shooting. Connor Seipel scored 10 points and had nine rebounds. Rashaad Ali-Shakir added 10 points off the bench.