TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University men’s basketball team will begin its quest for a berth in the 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament on Wednesday, Feb. 15 when it hosts Otterbein University in an OAC game at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio. Game time is slated for 7:30 p.m.
The Berg needs a pair of wins Wednesday and Saturday, Feb. 18 against the University of Mount Union to have a chance to gain one of eight berths in the OAC tournament. Otterbein, Mount Union and Muskingum University sit in a three-way tie for seventh place in the OAC standings with 5-11 OAC records. Heidelberg is in 10th at 4-11.
Live stats for the game will be available at http://www.heidelberg.edu/statcrew/mbb/xlive.htm.
Heidelberg (6-17, 4-12 OAC) has lost six straight games following an 82-69 loss Saturday to Marietta College. The Student Princes erased a 16-point deficit at halftime and tied the score on several occasions, but could not cap the comeback. Despite the loss, junior second-team All-Ohio Athletic Conference guard Dane Givner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Harvest Prep) scored 24 points on eight-of-15 shooting and surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his career. He also pulled down seven rebounds and passed for six assists. Junior honorable mention All-OAC forward Nate Davis (Dayton/Stivers) scored a season-high 19 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds.
Fourth-year head coach Anthony Gholson will likely start junior guard Quintin Aden (Canal Winchester/Harvest Prep) and Givner in the backcourt and freshman Bryan Crawford (Delaware/Buckeye Valley), Fortkamp and Davis on the blocks. Givner leads the Tri-Color scoring attack, averaging 13.4 points per game and 4.8 rebounds per game, and is fifth in the OAC with 72 assists. Davis nearly averages a double-double with 11.4 ppg. and 8.7 rpg., ranking third in the league, is sixth with a 51.1 (94-of-184) shooting percentage and leads the circuit with 45 blocks. Fortkamp averages 10.9 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and shoots 53.3 (96-of-180) percent from the field, good for fourth in the OAC. Aden scores 5.6 ppg. and shoots 44.1 (45-of-102) percent from the field. Crawford scores 2.7 ppg. and averages 1.7 rpg.
The Student Princes score 69.3 ppg., are second in the OAC by averaging 37.6 rpg. and shoot 42.7 percent overall. They are also first in the OAC with 3.9 blocks per game.
Otterbein (8-15, 5-11 OAC) has won two of its last three games following a 59-55 win Saturday at Muskingum. Brice Rausch turned in a game-high 19 points and was three-of-four from long distance, while Chris Davis posted 14 points and eight rebounds for Otterbein.
Fortieth-year head coach Dick Reynolds will look to start Mark Louks, Max Van Meter and Rausch in the backcourt and Zach Bakenhaster and Davis at the post positions. Davis averages a double-double, ranking sixth in the league in scoring (14.9 ppg.) and leading the circuit in rebounding (10.7 rpg.), shoots 48.8 (123-of-252) from the field and leads the team with 35 steals, good for seventh in the league. Rausch tallies 13.2 ppg. and 4.7 rpg. and shoots 47.3 (106-of-224) percent from the field, including 39.5 (17-of-43) from three point range. Van Meter scores 12.2 ppg., pulls down 4.1 rpg. and shoots 48.0 (72-of-15) percent from the floor and 69.0 (49-of-71) from the charity stripe. Bakenhaster scores 4.3 ppg., grabs 3.4 rpg. and shoots 60.0 (42-of-70) percent overall. Louks averages 2.7 ppg. and has passed for a team-high 54 assists.
The Cardinals scored 68.2 ppg., are fourth in the OAC with 35.9 rpg. and shoot 44.9 percent overall.
Heidelberg has won nine straight contests in the series, including a 5-0 record in Tiffin, and has outscored Otterbein by an average of 11.3 ppg. over that span. In the last meeting between the two teams, a 76-60 ‘Berg win on Jan. 11 in Westerville, Givner led five Student Princes who scored in double-figures with 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists. Aden scored 14 points, sophomore guard Lee Renner (Gibsonburg) tallied a career-high 11, and Fortkamp and sophomore guard Mike Petrie (Columbus/Beechcroft) each added 10. Chris Davis notched a double-double with game-highs of 18 points and 15 boards and Rausch and RaNeal Ewing each tallied 15 for Otterbein.
Following Wednesday’s contest, the Berg will close the 2011-12 regular season Saturday, Feb. 18 needing a win as it hosts Mount Union at 3 p.m.
Probable Starters: Otterbein (8-15, 5-11 OAC)
Mark Louks—20-11—2.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg., 54 ast.
Brice Rausch—23-23—13.2 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 47.3 FG%, 39.5 3FG%
Max Van Meter—19-14—12.2 ppg., 4.1 rpg., 48.0 FG%, 69.0 FT%
Chris Davis—23-23—14.9 ppg., 10.7 rpg., 48.8 FG%, 35 stl.
Zach Bakenhaster—23-22—4.3 ppg., 3.4 rpg., 60.0 FG%
Probable Starters: Heidelberg (6-17, 4-12 OAC)
Quintin Aden—22-9—5.6 ppg., 44.1 FG%, 30 ast.
Dane Givner—23-23—13.4 ppg., 4.8 rpg., 70 ast., 28 stl.
Victor Fortkamp—23-23—10.9 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 53.3 FG%, 72.6 FT%
Bryan Crawford—18-9—2.7 ppg., 1.7 rpg.
Nate Davis—23-22—11.4 ppg., 8.7 rpg., 51.1 FG%, 45 blk.