Joe Nixon led Tigers with 14 points
Dave Gifford tied school record with seven steals
Tigers Turn up the Heat in Season Opener; Host Scots Await in Title Game
WOOSTER, OHIO — Defensive pressure was a point of emphasis for Coach Bill Fenlon's Tigers during the preseason and the hard work appeared to have paid dividends in the team's season-opening win over Alfred (N.Y.) University. DePauw forced 27 turnovers and held the Saxons to just 30 percent shooting from the floor in a 66-45 win in the first game of the Al Van Wie Rotary Classic at the College of Wooster.
The Tigers battle for the championship Saturday at 6 p.m. against the College of Wooster which defeated Case Western Reserve 76-61 in Friday's second game.
The Tigers broke open a close game early with a 7-0 run led by field goals from Bob Steiner and Joe Ringger and a three-pointer from Steiner in a two-minute stretch that lifted DePauw to a 15-8 lead. The lead was still five at 21-16 before the Tigers scored 13 consecutive points in three minutes on the way to a 34-16 lead. They led at the break 36-20.
Alfred closed to 15 at the midway point of the second half, but the Tigers' Joe Nixon, Dave Gifford and Steiner combined for a 9-0 run to take DePauw to its biggest lead of the game at 55-31. Alfred got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.
Nixon led the Tigers with 14 followed by Steiner with 13 and Ringger with 10 in his first collegiate game. Sean Lewis added eight and a team-high 11 rebounds. The Tigers recorded 17 steals led by Dave Gifford's seven which tied a school record last set by Eric Bruksch against Anderson in 1992. Kareem McKinnon led Alfred with 15 points and 15 rebounds, while E.J. Docteur scored 13.