DePauw's season comes to an end at Otterbein
March 9, 2002
Westerville, Ohio. - Host Otterbein utilized a career-high 37 points and 24 rebounds from Jeff Gibbs and rallied from a six-point halftime deficit to take an 87-79 win in the sectional final game.
Gibbs hit 16 of 26 shots from the floor, dished out five assists and blocked four shots to lead the Cardinals. Of his 24 rebounds, 12 came on the offensive glass as Otterbein held a commanding 54-28 advantage on the boards.
Joe Ringger opened the game with a three-pointer and Mike Howland added a jumper to give the Tigers a 5-0 lead which they later extended to as many as seven at 15-8. The hosts went on a 10-2 run to take their first lead of the contest at 18-17 on Kyle Walton's bucket with 8:36 left. DePauw then scored eight straight to make it 25-18 and later led by as many as eight before Otterbein closed the margin to 38-32 at the break.
Early in the second half DePauw led 42-34, but the Cardinals scored five straight to close to within three. Midway through the half Ringger scored to give DePauw a 55-53 lead, but Otterbein scored the next 10 over a stretch of 1:46 to take a 63-55 advantage.
That lead reached as many as 12 points before DePauw closed the gap to four with less than a minute to play. The Tigers, however, were unable to score in the final 50 seconds, while the Cardinals hit four of six free throws.
Joe Nixon led DePauw with 22 followed by Ringger with 20. Howland, an all-sectional team selection, scored 16 and dished out five assists and Jeremy Bettis added 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds.
In addition to Gibbs' outburst, Mo Ross scored 17 with Kevin Shay adding 14 and Toby Borghese scoring 10.
The Tigers finished the season at 24-4, while Otterbein (28-3) advanced to the national semifinals with the win.