Early second-half run propels Tigers to win at Wabash
November 26, 2001
CRAWFORDSVILLE, Ind. - The 16th-ranked Tigers (4-0) opened the second half with a 19-2 run over a 5:40 stretch to put away host Wabash (1-3), 78-66.
The two teams battled through a first half that included nine ties and eight lead changes with nine players picking up at least two fouls.
With the game tied at 7-7, the Tigers rattled off six straight to take a 13-7 lead with 14:32 left in the half. DePauw still led 17-12 before Wabash scored six straight to take an 18-17 lead.
The Little Giants later took their biggest lead at 27-22 after a 9-2 run of their own.
The Tigers took the lead at 28-27 by scoring the next six before going to the break with a 35-32 advantage.
Mike Howland and Joe Ringger each scored buckets to open the second half and push the Tigers' lead to seven before Jesse Burgess trimmed the lead back to five. Jeremy Bettis and Howland hit layups before Jon Owens knocked down a three to make it 46-32 with 16:07 left in the game.
DePauw then delivered the knockout blow as Ringger hit a pair of free throws, Joe Nixon drained a three-pointer and Bettis added a layup to cap off a 14-0 run that lifted the Tigers' lead to 53-34 with 14:20 remaining.
The lead reached as much as 23 on three occasions with the last coming at 73-50 with 3:42 left. Wabash put together a 12-1 run to close to within 12 with 1:18 left, but would get no closer than 10 the rest of the way.
"We struggled with Nixon on the bench, DePauw coach Bill Fenlon said.
Nixon sat out the final 11 minutes of the first half after picking up his second foul.
"We cranked it up defensively in the second half and that run got our confidence back," Fenlon added.
Howland led the Tigers with 18 and his free throw with 2:01 left made him the 18th player in school history to reach 1,000 points. Bettis added 15 points, a game-high 11 rebounds and two blocks, while Ringger finished with 14 points and nine rebounds and Nixon added 12 points.
Wabash's Joe DesJean led all scorers with 22 points and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds, while Burgess scored 10.
The 4-0 start is DePauw's best since the 1993-94 season when they also opened with four straight wins.
DePauw opens SCAC play on Friday by hosting Centre at 8 p.m.