Tigers Win Tampa Bay Shootout in Thrilling Fashion

Tigers Win Tampa Bay Shootout in Thrilling Fashion

December 30, 2013

DePauw-Kalamazoo box | Drew-Regis box | Tournament site

2013 tbs champsTampa, Fla.- It took two overtime periods to finally crown a champion of the 2013 Tampa Bay Shootout and it was the hosts, DePauw University, who held on to defeat Kalamazoo College by a final score of 81-80.

With the win the Tigers improved to 7-3, while the Hornets dropped to 5-5 on the year.

Kalamazoo jumped out to a fast start opening the game on a 9-3 run highlighted by Grant Carey who scored five early points. The Tigers answered with a run of their own to grab a 12-11 lead. DePauw’s Tommy Fernitz went 5-6 from the floor totaling 10 first-half points which helped the Tigers take a 29-23 halftime lead.

Neither team shot particularly well in the opening period as DePauw shot just 38.2 percent from the floor and held the Hornets to just 20.0 percent from the field. Kalamazoo did hold a lopsided advantage in free throw numbers as they attempted 18 compared to the Tigers’ zero attempts. Kalamazoo’s sharpshooter Mark Ghafari paced all scorers with 15 first-half points.

In the second half the Tigers were able to extend their lead to as much as 11 before the Hornets began to apply offensive pressure. With 7:16 left in regulation DePauw held a 52-44 lead when Ghafari hit a three-pointer sparking a 12-0 run by Kalamazoo.

Pat Haggin’s three-pointer with 3:22 broke the drought and cut the Hornets' lead to one.

DePauw stilled trailed by four with just over one minute left, but the Tigers were able to trade Hornet free throws for three-pointers to cut the Kalamazoo lead to three with 16 seconds on the clock. DePauw’s Michael Wilkison hit a clutch three-pointer with just five ticks remaining on the clock to force the game into overtime.

Overtime proved to be just as dramatic as the end of regulation, but this time it was Kalamazoo that would need to come from behind. The Tigers were up four with 40 seconds left before Ghafari connected on another long ball and Adam Peters hit a jumper with just 10 seconds on the clock to tie the contest at 76-76. Wilkison had a chance to win it for the Tigers, but his three-point attempt missed sending the game to a second overtime.

In the second overtime the Hornets led by four with 2:55 remaining before DePauw closed the contest on a 5-0 run highlighted by Luke Lattner’s layup with 54 seconds remaining, which proved to be the game-winner.

DePauw was paced by Fernitz who notched a second straight double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds. The 22 points were a career high, while the 15 boards matched Sunday's career best. Wilkison and Haggin added 17 and 16 points, respectively, while Lattner totaled a collegiate-best 11 points off the bench. The Tigers struggled from the charity stripe shooting just 48.0 percent (12-25).

Division III’s second leading scorer, Mark Ghafari, led all scorers with 38 points including a 23-24 mark from the free-throw line. Peters added 12 points in the loss.

The Tigers held a 50-43 rebounding edge and a 38-18 advantage in points in the paint. Kalamazoo hit 34-43 (79.1 percent) from the line.

Fernitz earned tournament MVP honors and was joined on the all-tournament team by Wilkison. The Hornets’ Ghafari earned all-tournament honors for his performance.

Additionally, the win gave the Tigers their fourth straight Tampa Bay Shootout title.

Drew took third place with a 70-63 win over Regis (Mass.). Sam Jean-Gilles of Regis and Drew's John Ford were named to the all-tourney team.

The Tigers return to action on Saturday, January 4, when they travel to Allegheny. This North Coast Athletic Conference contest is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start.

For more information on the Tampa Bay Shootout please visit the tournament website.