Tigers Hold Off Wabash Rally and Claim Fifth Straight Rokicki Title
November 29, 2009
November 29, 2009, Greencastle, Ind. — After leading by 16 points at halftime, DePauw held off a late Wabash rally which closed the gap to two points and took its fifth straight Mike Rokicki Community Versus Cancer Challenge title with a 65-57 win over the Little Giants. DePauw improved to 4-0 with the win, while Wabash slipped to 2-3.
The Tigers used an 8-0 run in the first half to stretch a four-point lead to 12 and later scored the final six points of the first half to grab a 34-18 halftime lead.
Wabash couldn't close the gap to single digits until Aaron Zinnerman's layup with 8:07 left closed DePauw's lead to 50-41. Drew Wills pushed it back to 11 with a layup, but Wabash scored the next nine capped by Chase Haltom's three with 4:03 left which closed the DePauw lead to 52-50.
DePauw still led by three after Wes Smith's layup with 2:18 left closed the gap to 56-53. The Tigers couldn't convert, but a Wabash turnover led to Sean Haseley's three with 42 seconds left which extended the lead to 59-53. Wabash's Ben Burkett closed the DePauw lead to 61-57 on a tip-in with 19 seconds left, but Haseley found Lemasters open on the inbounds pass for a layup which sealed the win.
Haseley, who earned a spot on the all-tournament team, led the Tigers with 16 with Lemasters following with 15. Tournament MVP Tony James (pictured) scored six, but dished out six assists and totaled four steals. Ryan Sever came off the bench to grab a career-high nine rebounds as the Tigers held a 38-30 advantage on the boards.
Haltom and Burkett each scored 14 for Wabash with Smith following with 12 and Aaron Brock adding 10. Brock had eight boards in the loss.
The Tigers hit just over 47 percent from the floor and were 8-of-17 from three-point range. After shooting 69 percent in Saturday's win over Franklin, Wabash hit just 30.9 percent today including 20 percent in the first half.
DePauw opens Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference play on Friday, December 4, when it travels to Rhodes for an 8 p.m. CST contest.