ANDERSON, IND.-Tiger men's basketball coach Bill Fenlon couldn't contain his happiness after Saturday's 78-67 win at Anderson. Who could blame him after the Tigers put together a solid game on both ends of the court to move to 9-5 overall and 2-0 in the Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference. The win was the Tigers' ninth straight, while Anderson slipped to 8-5 overall and 0-2 in ICAC play.
After a strong defensive showing on Wednesday, the Tigers were still looking for the "O." They got it on Saturday in the form of 52 percent shooting from the floor including 11 of 22 shooting from three-point range.
The teams engaged in a tight battle in the early portions of the first half and Anderson led 17-15 with 8:58 left. The Tiger bombers set their sights, though. A jumper by Brad Stevens followed by three-pointers from Jason Kreag and Ryan Hooker gave the Tigers a 23-17 lead with 6:53 remaining in the half. DePauw led by as many as 13 in the half after Jess McKinney buried a pair of free throws with 1:17 left and they took a 34-25 lead into the break.
Brent Brobston started the second half for Anderson with a basket just 19 seconds in, but Hooker nailed two treys in a 24-second span and Kreag hit one 46 seconds after that to make it 43-27 with 18:04 remaining. That lead reached as many as 20 at 52-32 after Craig Stewart nailed a jumper with 12:58 left.
Anderson cut that lead to 52-39 with seven straight points before a controversial technical foul call on the Tigers' Rick Brown turned the momentum even more toward the Ravens. Brown was whistled for his fourth personal foul with 10:35 left after a Ryan Day jumper. He was then slapped with a technical foul for what the official described as a "show of emotion" regarding the call. The "T" gave Brown his fifth foul. Day made the free throw and Brian Miller hit both technical shots to cut the margin to 10. Day hit a free throw on the next possession and the The Ravens completed an 11-0 run and were right back in the game.
The turn of events seemed to intensify both benches. The Tigers scored three straight to move the lead to 55-43, but six straight Raven points cut the margin to six. The Tigers couldn't break free of the Ravens until Stewart hit a three with 1:12 left to make it 71-62. In the final minutes of the game the Tigers hit seven of eight from the line to seal the victory.
Hooker led the Tigers with 21 points, while Kreag had a season-high 18. Stevens added 13 and Matt Bowers scored a dozen to go along with seven rebounds. Noel Nitecki led Anderson with 24 including 16 in the second half. Brian Miller chipped in with 12.
The Tigers travel to Manchester next Saturday for a 7:30 p.m. contest. The game was originally scheduled for 3 p.m.