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Tigers Drops Tight Contest to Rival Little Giants

January 30, 2013

BOX SCORE

Crawfordsville, Ind. - DePauw came up empty on five straight trips down the court over a five-minute stretch late in the second half while Wabash scored eight straight and came away with a 52-48 North Coast Athletic Conference win over the Tigers at Chadwick Court.

The Tigers dropped to 13-7 overall and 6-5 in the NCAC as their four-game win streak came to an end, while Wabash improved to 6-14 overall and 4-7 in conference play. The loss was DePauw's fifth by four points or less this year.

The contest was tied, 42-42 after DePauw's Barry Flynn nailed a jumper from the left baseline with 7:39 left, but the Tigers went scoreless for the next five-plus mintues. Wabash took the lead for good on Andy Walsh's three-pointer before Houston Hodges made one free throw and a layup to push the Little Giants' lead to 48-42.

Meanwhile, DePauw missed shots on four straight trips down the court and turned the ball over on the fifth which led to Ross Sponsler's jumper which extended the Wabash lead to 50-42 with 2:15 left.

Pat Haggin ended DePauw's scoring drought on the next possession as he nailed a three to close the deficit to 50-45 at the 2:02 mark. Wabash's Pete Nicksic missed on the other end and Flynn snagged the rebound, but his pass down the court to a streaking Alex Payne was too long and Payne was unable to gain control before falling out-of-bounds.

A Wabash turnover gave DePauw new life with 47 seconds remaining, by Haggin's miss put the ball back in the hands of the Little Giants. Complicating matters for the Tigers was the fact that they had only four teams fouls.

It took DePauw 18 seconds to use those three fouls and finally send Andy Walsh to the line. Walsh missed the front end of the one-and-one and DePauw's Adam Botts grabbed the rebound. The Tigers got the ball to Michael Wilkison who connected on his sixth three of the game to close the gap to 50-48 with 18.2 seconds left.

The Tigers sent Sponsler to the line with 17 seconds left and the freshman missed, but rebounded his own miss before being fouled. This time Sponsler nailed both to make it 52-48.

Wabash had three fouls to give and used them all with DePauw's last chance coming with six seconds left as Connor Rich missed a three.

DePauw took an early 10-point lead as it broke free from a 4-4 tie with Tommy Fernitz's putback and eight straight points from Haggin.

The Little Giants climbed right back into the contest by scoring the next eight capped by Daniel Purvlicis' layup which trimmed the Tigers' lead to 14-12 with 8:50 left in the half.

DePauw extended that lead to as many as seven at 23-16 after Wilkison nailed a three with 4:30 left. Wabash's Sponsler hit a pair of treys and pulled the hosts within 25-22, but Wilkison's third three-pointer of the half gave the Tigers a 28-22 advantage with just over a minute to play and that's the way the half ended.

The Tigers still led, 32-28, before Hodges and Sponsler buried threes on consecutive possessions to give Wabash its first lead since the opening minutes. Wilkison hit back-to-back threes around a Sponsler made free throw to put the Tigers back in front, 38-35, with 11:42 remaining.

Wilkison led DePauw with 18 points on six threes, while Haggin added a career-high 13. Wilkison grabbed a team-high seven rebounds.

Sponsler paced Wabash with 14 followed by Hodges with 10. Nicksic snagged eight rebounds as the Little Giants  held a 36-20 edge on the boards for a 10-2 second-chance point advantage.

The Tigers travel to Kenyon on Saturday, February 2.

For more information on the DePauw men’s basketball program, follow DePauw on Twitter (@DePauwAthletics / @DePauw_MBB) or like them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DePauwAthletics).

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