Tigers Close Gap but Can't Complete Double-Digit Comeback

Tigers Close Gap but Can't Complete Double-Digit Comeback

Greencastle, Ind. -- DePauw trailed by as many as 17 against Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday, but David Vogel's 3-pointer to tie the game with five seconds remaining didn't drop, and the Tigers took a 77-72 North Coast Athletic Conference loss.

DePauw has now lost their past two contests by a combined eight points to drop to 7-10 overall and 3-7 in the NCAC. Ohio Wesleyan improves to 12-5 and 7-3 in the conference play.

Jack VandeMerkt tied a career-high with 24 points and led the game with eight rebounds. Nick Felke posted a career-high with 13 points.

Riley Doody finished with seven points and a career-high seven assists, while Nolan Ginther scored three and posted career bests with seven rebounds and three assists.

Yet, that combination could not overtake the senior duo of Seth Clark and Nate Axelrod who scored 28 and 22 points respectively. Axelrod was an assist away from a double-double, and Clark had six defensive rebounds. Will Orr also reached double figures with 12.

Vogel and Josh Hall, two of DePauw's leading scorers on the year, finished a collective 3-of-16 from the field.

The Battling Bishops took a 39-30 lead at halftime and thanks in part to an 11-4 start in the second half led 57-40 with 14:50 to go. DePauw would not make their move until about eight minutes remained in the game when they still trailed 66-51.

A Ken Decker 3-pointer and baskets from Mason Hankins and Andrew Kus trimmed the deficit in half in just under two minutes at 66-58. DePauw trailed by 11 with 3:55 left, but a 10-0 run capped off by a 3-pointer from Decker at 49 seconds made it a 71-70 game.

Ohio Wesleyan went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final 30 seconds. VandeMerkt had a highlight dunk off an assist from Hall with 14 seconds left, but Vogel's 3-pointer to tie the game wouldn't fall with five seconds left.

DePauw shot 44 percent (28-of-63) compared to Ohio Wesleyan's 38 percent (25-of-66). The Battling Bishops were 12-of-39 from range (31 percent), while DePauw went 6-of-17 (35 percent), and the Battling Bishops were a perfect 15-of-15 from the foul line, while DePauw shot a respectable 83 percent (10-of-12).

The Tigers outrebounded the Battling Bishops 43-33 and outscored them off the bench 21-11 and in the paint 36-26. Ohio Wesleyan scored 14 points off of 11 DePauw turnovers.

DePauw will travel to Wittenberg on Wednesday.