“We’re a work in progress and have been ever since day one,” Brown said. “Any W is a good W. For a lot of teams in small college basketball in this area, with the parity there is, every win you can grind out you’re going to look at as a good one.”
The Tigers made 7-of-8 free throws in the final two minutes and shot 13-of-17 from the line (a season-best 77 percent) in the game. In their last two games, losses to Wooster and Otterbein, the Tigers shot 27-of-44 from the line (61 percent).
Wittenberg also hit a season-high 12 3-pointers, including 8-of-16 in the first half. Some of that had to do with the zone defense Allegheny (4-4, 0-2 NCAC) played.
“The 3s were the difference and also the clutch free throws,” Brown said. “I can’t say our rebounding and defense really improved that much, and we have to continue to work on that for sure.”
The Tigers did get a big defensive play in the final minute. Scott Masin came up with a steal with 38 seconds left with the Tigers nursing a 63-61 lead. The Gators were forced to foul at that point, and Newell and Leahy each hit two free throws in the final 30 seconds.
Masin, who had 11 points, played his third straight game in a mask to protect his broken nose. He will have it reset Monday and won’t practice all week, but Brown said he expects Masin to be available for the next game at 3 p.m. Saturday at home against Ohio Christian.