It took overtime, and a game-best 33 points from Jack Clement, but the Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball team continued its solid start to the conference slate with a 90-86 North Coast Athletic Conference win over visiting DePauw Wednesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
The Bishops, who improved to 12-5 overall and 7-1 in NCAC play, found their form midway through the first half, jumping out to a 48-33 lead by the break.
Down a point, 17-16, after DePauw’s Kyle Lillwitz drilled a three-pointer with just over 11 minutes left in the first half, OWU used a 9-0 run to build the foundation of its big halftime edge.
Reece Mitchell hit a jumper to start the run and, after a Clement hoop made it a three-point game, back-to-back buckets from Grant Spicer and Henry Hinkle pushed the lead to seven.
The Tigers’ Sam Jacobs scored to stop the bleeding, but Hinkle answered with a three-pointer on the other end to make it a nine-point game, 28-19, with 5:27 left in the half.
OWU led by as many as 17 points early in the second half before DePauw stormed back down the stretch.
Grant Niego hit a couple free throws to make it a 10-point game with 15:17 left, but the Bishops still led by nine, 74-65 with 3:16 to play.
That all changed in the final three minutes, though. DePauw’s Elijah Hales hit a three-pointer to make it a 77-74 game with 48 seconds left, then turned an OWU turnover into another three to even things up by the end of regulation.
A Camden Brown bucket got the Tigers within a hoop with 31 seconds left in OT, and a Hales free throw sliced the deficit to a single point, but two free throws by Curtis White and another two from Tony Carter helped the Bishops hang on.
OWU, which finished 20-for-23 from the charity stripe overall, made nine of its 10 free throws in the overtime session.
Hinkle, who went 10-for-11 from the line, backed Clement with 19 points while Carter finished with 13 points and a team-high eight boards.
Camden Brown led the Tigers with 24 points while Hales was right behind him with 23.
Ohio Wesleyan used a 21-14 second quarter to get some separation, then put together a 26-9 third to blow things open on the way to a lopsided 79-54 North Coast Athletic Conference win over host Denison Wednesday night in Granville.
Elizabeth Homan led the Bishops (9-7, 4-1) with 20 points while Kasey Schipfer, Lauren Denison and Karlee Ross all finished in double figures as well. Schipfer had 17 points and six rebounds, Denison added 12 points and Ross chipped in 11 points and seven boards.
The Big Red (6-10, 1-4), meanwhile, got a team-best 15 points from Gabby Elliott.