Wittenberg to play Denison in NCAC semifinals

Feb 21, 2018
Wittenberg coach Matt Croci talks to the team on Monday, Feb. 19, 2018, at Pam Evans Smith Arena in Springfield. David Jablonski/Staff

The Wittenberg Tigers will host the North Coast Athletic Conference semifinals and championship game for the first time since 2012 on Friday.

Sixth-ranked Wittenberg (24-2), the top seed in the conference tournament, beat Oberlin 70-54 on Tuesday at Pam Evans Smith Arena and will play No. 5 seed Denison (15-11) in the semifinals at 5:30 p.m. Friday. Denison won 73-60 at No. 4 seed Hiram (15-11) in the quarterfinals.

The second semifinal matchup, at 7:30 p.m. Friday, pits No. 2 seed Wooster (21-5) against No. 3 seed Ohio Wesleyan (18-8). Wooster, ranked 17th in the nation, beat DePauw 70-63. Ohio Wesleyan beat Wabash 89-86 in overtime.

» RELATED: Wittenberg alums relish victory over Wooster

The championship game will take place at 4 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena. Wittenberg last won the championship in 2006. It lost in the final game in 2010, 2011 and 2014. Wittenberg hasn’t won the tournament at home since 2002.

Wittenberg coach Matt Croci talks about NCAC tournament Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer
Wittenberg's Jake Bertemes relives big shots against Wooster Photo: David Jablonski - Staff Writer

In the quarterfinals, the Tigers led from start to finish, though Oberlin rallied from an early 11-point deficit to trim Wittenberg’s lead to 33-31 at halftime. Wittenberg pushed the game out of reach with a 16-4 run midway through the second half.

Chad Roy led Wittenberg with 14 points. Jake Bertemes scored 12. James Johnson had 11 points off the bench.

The Tigers had a 39-29 rebounding advantage and held Oberlin to 37.7 percent shooting. Wittenberg struggled from 3-point range (4 of 15, 26.7 percent) but made 12 of 14 free throws (85.7 percent).

Women’s basketball: No. 4 seed Wittenberg (15-11) beat No. 5 seed Hiram 78-68 in the NCAC quarterfinals Tuesday in Springfield. Delaney Williams scored 24 points. Sydney Mayle and Kristie Kalis each scored 18.

The Tigers, who have won six of their last seven games, will play No. 1 seed DePauw at 5 p.m. Friday in the semifinals in Greencastle, Ind.. No. 2 seed Kenyon plays No. 3 seed Oberlin in the other semifinal at 7 p.m.