Sullivan thought his late grandfather Alfred Whelehan, a U.S. Navy veteran who earned a purple heart in World War II and died Thursday at 84, had a little to do with his second-half success.
“He might have helped me out with one or two of those shots,” Sullivan said.
Clayton Black also had his say in the victory. The junior post scored 25 points for the second straight game, making 7-of-9 shots from the field and all 11 of his free-throw attempts.
Freshman Steven Newell had some big moments as well, scoring eight points, including two clutch free throws with eight seconds left to give Wittenberg a four-point lead.
And Michael Cooper, in his first game back since football season, had a team-best five assists to go with five rebounds.
“I’ve been waiting for a while,” Cooper said. “I’ve been anxious to get back out there and start playing for real.”
The team needed all those contributions as it continues to play without starter Josh McKee, who is sidelined indefinitely with pneumonia.
“Clayton and Chris and Steven were really big for us,” Wittenberg coach Bill Brown said. “And, no question, Coop gave us some type of spark or edge.”
The victory means the Tigers will take a 3-0 North Coast Athletic Conference record into January. They are 4-3 overall after a 1-3 start.
“There’s 10 teams in the league, and there’s only three undefeated as we head into the new year,” Wittenberg coach Bill Brown said. “We’re one of those three. I’m really proud of the guys.”
Wittenberg won despite 23 turnovers. It made up for that with a 35-28 rebounding edge and by hitting 17-of-20 free throws.
Andy Winters and Tim Brady led Ohio Wesleyan (4-7, 1-3 NCAC) with 16 points each.