Tigers move on to Sweet 16 with 89-76 win over Wittenberg
March 2, 2002
Junior Jeremy Bettis scored a career-high 25 and grabbed 10 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season in the Tigers' 89-76 win over Wittenberg. (photo: Marilyn Culler)
Greencastle, Ind. - Seventh-ranked DePauw advanced to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1990, when they finished second in Division III, with an 89-76 win over visiting Wittenberg (8th Basketball America/11th D3hoops.com).
The Tigers advance to play Washington (Mo.) on Friday, March 8, at a site and time to be determined on Sunday. Washington defeated Maryville (Tenn.) 71-57. The win, the Tigers' eighth straight, lifted their overall record to 23-3, while Wittenberg closed its season at 26-4.
Jeremy Bettis scored a career-high 25 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Joe Nixon also scored 25 including 20 in the first half (on 7-of-7 shooting) to lead the Tigers. Joe Ringger and Mike Howland each added 14 and Howland dished out nine assists in the win.
Rod Emmons led Wittenberg with 21 followed by B.J. Harris with a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kevin Longley scored 11 and Peter Walker added 10.
After trailing 7-6 in the opening two minutes, DePauw scored 10 straight with five each from Bettis and Nixon to take a 16-7 lead. Wittenberg regained the lead, but Howland and Nixon buried three-pointers to put the Tigers ahead for good at 30-26 with just over seven minutes left in the half.
DePauw's lead reached as many as 10 at 47-37 before they went to the break with a 51-42 lead. A 7-1 run to open the second half pushed the Tigers' lead to 58-43.
Wittenberg closed the gap to 69-59 on Harris' three-point play with 10:43 remaining, but DePauw scored eight straight to make it 77-59 with 8:38 left. The guests got within nine at 82-73 with just under four minutes to play, but couldn't capitalize on five straight DePauw misses at the charity stripe. Mike Howland and Jeremy Bettis did finish off Wittenberg at the line with combining for six free throws in the final 1:08.
"Making shots was the biggest key," DePauw Coach Bill Fenlon said. "We talked about being excited and being ready to play. They had to channel their energy. We played really hard and really loose. We made enough defensive runs to get the job done."
"DePauw was just outstanding," Wittenberg head coach Bill Brown said. "There are some things we could have done. He (Nixon) got some looks he shouldn't have. He was just an outstanding player."
Other Fenlon remarks