Wittenberg Tigers


Tigers find their form, but falter late in second-round NCAA loss

Wittenberg coach Matt Croci subbed liberally in the first half against Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the NCAA Division III tourney, but each lineup he tried looked as disjointed and panicked as the previous one. The Tigers, who trailed by as many as 17 points, faced a 34-19 halftime deficit. They shot 30 percent, committed nine turnovers and looked nothing like the team that averaged 82.3 points this season...
Wittenberg ousted in second round of NCAA Tournament

Wittenberg ousted in second round of NCAA Tournament

Wittenberg staged a furious rally to try to stay alive in the NCAA Division III tournament, but Wisconsin-Oshkosh withstood the comeback bid for a 68-60 win Saturday night at Pam Evans Smith Arena. The Tigers, returning to the tourney after a four-year absence and playing at home for the first time since 2006, trailed by 17 points in the first half and by 16 early in the second half. »RELATED...
Wittenberg routs Misericordia in first round of NCAA tournament

Wittenberg routs Misericordia in first round of NCAA tournament

With 22 hours to prepare for the second round of the NCAA Division III tournament, Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci was asked if he would stay up late or get up early to prepare. “Both,” Croci said Friday night. “If I get any sleep at all.” The third-ranked Tigers (27-2) will play No. 24 Wisconsin-Oshkosh (21-7) at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena after routing...
Wittenberg hopes home-court edge pays off in NCAA tournament

Wittenberg hopes home-court edge pays off in NCAA tournament

One member of the Wittenberg Tigers knows his way around the NCAA Division III tournament. Junior guard Mitch Balser played in the tournament the last two years with Wooster. He even started four games for the Scots as a freshman during their run to the Elite Eight. Now Balser is playing for Wittenberg and helping his teammates prepare the NCAA tournament. “They’ve been asking me questions...
Wittenberg football: Taver Johnson is a Buckeye again — and still a proud Tiger

Wittenberg football: Taver Johnson is a Buckeye again — and still a proud Tiger

Taver Johnson picked a pretty good time to return to his home state.  Not only is he back as the cornerbacks coach at Ohio State, he is also closer to Wittenberg, where he was a star football player in the early 1990s.  That means he just might be able to watch the Tigers men’s basketball team when they begin the NCAA tournament on their home floor Friday night against Misericordia...
Sophomore Seipel a big reason for Wittenberg’s success

Sophomore Seipel a big reason for Wittenberg’s success

If everyone in Pam Evans Smith Arena on Saturday night thought Wittenberg Tigers forward Connor Seipel looked surprised when he was named MVP of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament, they were right. “I was shocked,” Seipel said. Seipel expected senior Chad Roy, his partner in the frontcourt, to earn the honor. After all, just three years ago, Seipel was coming off the bench...
Wittenberg to host NCAA tournament games this weekend

Wittenberg to host NCAA tournament games this weekend

Twelve years ago, the Wittenberg Tigers began their run to the NCAA championship game in Springfield, playing at home in the first four rounds. They’ll get a chance to do it again in 2018. The NCAA announced the Division III tournament bracket Monday, and No. 6 Wittenberg found out it will host games on the first weekend and on the second weekend if it advances to the Sweet 16. The Tigers hope...
Wittenberg wins first NCAC tournament title since 2006

Wittenberg wins first NCAC tournament title since 2006

The Wittenberg Tigers ran off the court with an 82-70 victory against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday forgetting one thing — they still had to cut down the nets. The sixth-ranked Tigers (26-2) could be forgiven. This was their first North Coast Athletic Conference tournament championship since 2006. They hadn’t won the title at Pam Evans Smith Arena since 2002. They turned back the clock with...
Wittenberg hopes home crowd helps it in NCAC tournament

Wittenberg hopes home crowd helps it in NCAC tournament

Matt Croci shaved the beard he wore for more than three months when the Wittenberg Tigers finally lost a game after 22 straight victories. The coach and his team now have a modest two-game winning streak going — though it’s too early to tell if a beard will come with it — and would like to extend it as long as possible. That will be easier to do this weekend because Wittenberg gets...
Wittenberg to play Denison in NCAC semifinals

Wittenberg to play Denison in NCAC semifinals

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...
Wittenberg basketball alums relish victory over Wooster

Wittenberg basketball alums relish victory over Wooster

Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci’s wife Patrice shared a video to Instagram of the team celebrating in the locker room after a 78-77 overtime victory Saturday against Wooster. The second-year coach Croci was in the middle of the chaos as the team jumped up and down. Someone threw water on him. His shirt was soaked. In the background were a few familiar faces — at least for those who...
Wittenberg wins NCAC title with stunning OT win over Wooster

Wittenberg wins NCAC title with stunning OT win over Wooster

Wittenberg sophomore Jacob Bertemes wasn’t going to let the Tigers lose. Bertemes made two game tying shots, and then sunk the free threw that led fifth-ranked Wittenberg to a 78-77 victory over the No. 16 Wooster at Pam Evans Smith Arena Saturday night. »RELATED: Three freshmen making big contributions for Tigers The victory secured an outright North Coast Athletic Conference title for...
Top seed on line when Wittenberg plays Wooster on Saturday

Top seed on line when Wittenberg plays Wooster on Saturday

The fifth-ranked Wittenberg Tigers have lost two straight games after winning 22 games in a row and now face a must-win situation against Wooster if they want to earn the No. 1 seed in the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament. Wittenberg (22-2, 15-2) plays No. 16 Wooster (20-4, 14-3) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Pam Evans Smith Arena. Wooster has won nine straight games since losing 86-75 at home...
Wittenberg’s Croci: First loss ‘wakes you up a little bit’

Wittenberg’s Croci: First loss ‘wakes you up a little bit’

The 22-game winning streak ended Saturday for the Wittenberg Tigers. Coach Matt Croci didn’t care so much about that. Breaking the school record for consecutive victories wasn’t a goal, even if it got everyone talking about his team. Croci hates losing. The same goes for his players, though they were more disappointed in their performance than the result, a 94-71 loss at Hiram. &ldquo...
Wittenberg alum joining Ohio State football staff again

Wittenberg alum joining Ohio State football staff again

Wittenberg graduate Taver Johnson has returned to Ohio State.  The school announced Johnson’s hiring Tuesday morning.  After graduating from the Cincinnati Academy of Physical Education (CAPE), Johnson became one of the best to suit up for Wittenberg.  A member of the Tigers’ Hall of Honor, Johnson was the team’s MVP in 1992 and ’93, when he was also named the...
College basketball in Ohio is better than your state this year

College basketball in Ohio is better than your state this year

Apparently this is a pretty good year to be a college basketball team in Ohio.  Dayton Flyers fans might disagree, but the overall results can’t be argued up to this point in the season.  Ohio State leads the Big Ten at 13-1.  Xavier is on top in the Big East, half a game ahead of Villanova at 11-2.  Cincinnati (13-0) leads the American Athletic Conference by a whopping three...
Hiram ends Wittenberg’s 22-game winning streak

Hiram ends Wittenberg’s 22-game winning streak

The third-ranked Wittenberg Tigers saw their 22-game winning streak end with a 94-71 loss at Hiram on Saturday. The streak goes in the Wittenberg record book as the second longest in school history. The Tigers (22-1, 15-1) fell four victories short of matching the 1993-94 team’s mark of 26 in a row. Hiram, which lost 81-61 at Wittenberg on Jan. 6, seized control early in the first half with...
Winning streak brings back memories for Wittenberg’s Croci

Winning streak brings back memories for Wittenberg’s Croci

Wittenberg Tigers coach Matt Croci has heard from a number of his former college teammates — Aaron Perry, Anthony Robinson and Luke Ragan, for example — as his team approaches the school record for consecutive victories. The streak reached 22 games Wednesday with an 84-72 victory against Wabash at Pam Evans Smith Arena. It’s now the second-longest winning streak in school history...
Wittenberg clinches share of NCAC title with 22nd straight win

Wittenberg clinches share of NCAC title with 22nd straight win

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...
Three freshmen making big contributions for undefeated Wittenberg

Three freshmen making big contributions for undefeated Wittenberg

The Wittenberg Tigers would not be 21-0 and ranked third in the country without the play of three freshmen who arrived on campus ready to contribute and have thrived as key reserves all season. James Johnson, Landon Martin and Rashaad Ali-Shakir have combined to average 20.5 points per game. That accounts for a quarter of the offense for Wittenberg, which averages 82.6 points per game. “They...
Unbeaten Wittenberg five wins from tying school record

Unbeaten Wittenberg five wins from tying school record

The No. 3 Wittenberg Tigers broke open a close game in the final 12 minutes to stay perfect at 21-0, beating Oberlin 77-56 on the road Saturday. Wittenberg needs five more wins to tie the school record for consecutive victories. Wittenberg led 33-30 at halftime, and it was still a seven-point game with 9:42 to play. A layup by Jake Bertemes at the 9:26 mark started a 13-0 run by the Tigers. Oberlin...
Wittenberg first D-III team to reach 20 wins this season

Wittenberg first D-III team to reach 20 wins this season

The No. 3 Wittenberg Tigers reached another milestone in their perfect season, beating Kenyon 78-63 on Wednesday at Pam Evans Smith Arena for their 20th victory. Wittenberg (20-0, 13-0) became the first NCAA Division III team to reach 20 wins this season. No. 1 Whitman (19-0) plays Thursday night. Mitch Balser scored 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting. Chad Roy scored 17 points and made 6 of 7 shots from...
Wittenberg stays at No. 3, seeks 20th straight win Wednesday

Wittenberg stays at No. 3, seeks 20th straight win Wednesday

The Wittenberg Tigers finally hit a wall in the D3Hoops.com poll — not because they lost, of course. Wittenberg’s winning streak streak reached 19 games Saturday with an 84-61 victory over Denison at Pam Evans Smith Arena. At 12-0 in the North Coast Athletic Conference, the Tigers own a three-game lead over Wooster (15-4, 9-3) and Ohio Wesleyan (14-5, 9-3) with six games to play. »...

College Basketball: Unbeaten Wittenberg romps past Denison

Matt Croci told his young Wittenberg team before the season it needed to find an identity. When you have a 6-foot-10 post player in Division III, that’s a good place to start figuring out what kind of team you’re going to be. And start there the Tigers did on Saturday. Roy scored 10 of his team’s first 15 points and 16 of his career-high 25 in the first half to lead the unbeaten...
Wittenberg graduate kayaks 3,052 miles, raises money for rehab costs

Wittenberg graduate kayaks 3,052 miles, raises money for rehab costs

Andy Gallatin returned to reality this week and all the little things he didn’t have to think about when he was paddling a kayak for 3,052 miles — putting gas in his truck, for example — became part of his life again. The 2005 Wittenberg graduate accomplished a lifetime goal with his eight-month journey down the Scioto River from downtown Columbus to the Ohio River in Portsmouth...
Wooster transfer Balser playing big role for Wittenberg

Wooster transfer Balser playing big role for Wittenberg

Wittenberg graduate Steve Moore turned Wooster in a national powerhouse in NCAA Division III basketball and has handed his alma mater numerous losses over the years. It was only fitting that the Scots would repay the favor at some point and send one of their own to Wittenberg. That finally happened last spring when point guard Mitch Balser left Wooster after two seasons for Wittenberg. Of course...
Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

Wittenberg improves to 15-0 with win at Wooster

The No. 10 Wittenberg Tigers beat their biggest rival, Wooster, on the road at Timken Gymnasium for the first time since 2011, pulling away in the final minutes for an 86-75 victory Saturday. Jake Bertemes led the Tigers with 22 points. Jordan Pumroy scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Chad Roy had 18 points. Landon Martin scored 13 points off the bench. Wittenberg had lost three straight games...
Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg earns home game in first round of playoffs

Wittenberg Tigers coach Joe Fincham's thinking on Selection Sunday never changes. "Expect the unexpected," he said. Seventeen years after the Tigers were sent to Abilene, Texas, in the first round — still the biggest playoff surprise for the Tigers after all these years — they were handed an unknown opponent in the opening round of the 2017 NCAA Division III playoffs. The bracket...
Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Wittenberg’s Joe Fincham after big win: ‘The guys stuck together’

Coach Joe Fincham had a typical Sunday planned for the Wittenberg Tigers: weightlifting, film sessions, meetings, etc. It’s the same routine every week. There was nothing typical about Saturday for Fincham and the Tigers, however — other than the fact that they won. No. 13 Wittenberg beat Wabash 21-14 to improve to 8-0 and maintain its grip on first place in the North Coast Athletic Conference...
Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg football: Top 7 players in Tigers history

Wittenberg has fielded a football team for 123 seasons. The four-overtime playoff thriller at Thomas More last season was the program’s 754th victory. Only Mount Union, the perennial national powerhouse, has more. Close to 90 freshmen football players showed up on Wittenberg’s campus Tuesday. An army of 160 Tigers will hold their first practice of the 2017 season Wednesday. They reported...
NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

NCAC coaches vote Wittenberg favorite in preseason poll

North Coast Athletic Conference football coaches voted Wittenberg the preseason favorite Thursday. The Tigers received six of 10 first-place votes. They finished 10-2 in 2016 and won the league championship with an 8-1 mark. Wittenberg has won the NCAC title outright or shared it in six of the last eight seasons. Wabash, which tied for second with Denison and DePauw last season at 7-2, received three...
Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Kelly Mahlum will continue to coach Wittenberg women’s basketball

Wittenberg University removed the interim tag from Kelly Mahlum’s title, and she will continue to coach the women’s basketball team in the 2017-18 season. She is the eighth head coach in school history. Wittenberg made the announcement Friday. Mahlum took over the program when Sarah Jurewicz went on maternity leave last season. The Tigers went 10-16 under Mahlum. Jurewicz will remain with...
Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

Wittenberg Tigers upset No. 9 Denison

The Wittenberg Tigers recorded the most impressive victory of the Matt Croci era so far, upsetting No. 9 Denison 71-70 in Granville on Saturday. Shawnee grad Jaelin Williams, a Wittenberg senior, blocked a shot by Denison’s Bret Woolard at the buzzer. Williams led the Tigers with 23 points on 8-of-23 shooting. He had a team-high eight rebounds, four steals and two blocks. Wittenberg trailed...
More Wittenberg Tigers Stories