Freshman wing Tony Carter hit a lay-in, sophomore post Grant Spicer added a bucket and sophomore guard Jack Clement sank 2 free throws as the Ohio Wesleyan men’s basketball team broke a 36-36 tie and went on to a 50-45 win over Denison on Thursday at Branch Rickey Arena.
The win was the 400th career victory for Ohio Wesleyan head coach Mike DeWitt. DeWitt is 400-300 (.571) in 27 seasons as a head coach, and is 350-225 (.609) in 22 seasons at Ohio Wesleyan.
“This is a sign of having a lot of really good players and really good assistant coaches over the years,” DeWitt said. “Anytime you reach a milestone like that, it’s a collective effort. I’ve been able to coach a lot of great players and work with a lot of great assistant coaches.”
Denison took an early lead on Conor Fenton’s jumper from the lane, but the Bishops reeled off the next 12 points, collecting 2 lay-ins from junior guard Zane Ries and a pair of hoops from Clement along the way. Ohio Wesleyan would lead by as many as a dozen, that coming when a Ries lay-in gave the Bishops an 18-6 lead with 6:41 left in the first half.
The Big Red rallied late in the first half, closing to within 21-17 as Freeman Brou had a pair of lay-ins and a pair of free throws during an 8-1 run, and the visitors came all the way back when a pair of Brou free throws evened the score at 34 midway through the second period.
Carter’s lay-in gave Ohio Wesleyan a 38-36 lead with 7:34 to go, and the lay-in by Spicer and the free throws from Clement extended the lead to 42-36 at the 5:07 mark.
Spicer staked the Bishops to a 48-41 advantage with 2:23 remaining, but Will Hunter rallied the visitors, droving for a lay-in, then stealing the ball and scoring on the break to make it a 48-45 game with 1:08 left.
White sank a pair of free throws with :18 left to make it a 2-possession game, and Brou misfired on a 3-pointer at the other end, with Spicer clearing the rebound to seal the outcome.
Clement led the Bishops with 22 points, while Ries finished with 12. Spicer grabbed a team-high 10 rebounds.
Brou scored 25 points for Denison.
OWU Sports Information contributed to this report.