Botts Beats Buzzer; Secures Tigers as No. 2 Seed in NCAC Tournament
Delaware, Ohio- After netting his career high Wednesday night against Wabash, sophomore guard, Adam Botts, drained a three-pointer with one second remaining to lift the Tigers over Ohio Wesleyan in their final North Coast Athletic Conference game of the regular season.
With the victory DePauw improved to 18-7 overall and 13-5 in the conference, while Ohio Wesleyan dropped to 19-6 on the season and 13-5 in NCAC play. Additionally, the 64-63 win secured the Tigers spot as the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament.
The opening 10 minutes of the first half proved to be a back and forth contest featuring four lead changes before the Bishops began to pull away with 9:31 left in the half. Ohio Wesleyan would stretch their lead to as much as 13 and entered the locker room leading the Tigers 39-29.
The Bishops were led by Reuel Rogers who had 13 points in the half. Ohio Wesleyan shot 58.6 percent (17-29) from the floor compared to the Tigers who shot just 35.5 percent (11-31) in the first half.
DePauw struggled early in the second half missing their first four shots. However, following four straight points by Pat Haggin the Tigers were able to cut the lead to 45-42 with 11:16 left in the contest.
Ohio Wesleyan's lead would hover around five points for the next 10 minutes before Haggin hit a clutch three with just 58 seconds remaining to cut the lead to one.
Taylor Rieger went 1-of-2 from the free throw line giving the Bishops a two point lead with 22 seconds left. Following a Tommy Fernitz layup the score was tied with just 12 seconds on the clock.
On the ensuing inbounds play DePauw was able to foul Ohio Wesleyan's Dre White, forcing him to the charity stripe with 8 ticks remaining. White connected on both free throw attempts, giving the Bishops a 63-61 lead.
Senior Michael Wilkison took the inbounds pass and found Botts. After dribbling to the top of the key Botts pulled up and launched a three sending the Tigers home happy, with a 64-63 victory.
The Tigers were led by Haggin who had 20 points off the bench. Fernitz grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds.
Ohio Wesleyan's White and Taylor Rieger scored 17 and 13 points respectively. Rogers notched a double-double in the loss grabbing 10 rebounds and scoring a game-high 22 points.
DePauw shot 40.3 percent (22-62) from the floor to Ohio Wesleyan's 49.0 percent (25-51). The Tigers outrebounded the Bishops 39-32 including a 15-7 edge on the offensive glass.
The Tigers are back in action Tuesday, February 25, when they host Wabash in the first round of the NCAC tournament. Start time is still to be determined.