TIFFIN, Ohio—The Heidelberg University men’s basketball team will look for a berth in the 2012 Ohio Athletic Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament Saturday, Feb. 18 as it hosts the University of Mount Union in league contest at Seiberling Gymnasium in Tiffin, Ohio. Tip-off is slated for 3 p.m.
Prior to the game, Heidelberg will recognize its five seniors, playing in their last home game: guards Pat Barrett (Lakewood/Senior) and Darion Capers (Clayton/Trotwood-Madison), forward Paul Dunn (Mohawk), guard Casey Kaufman (Sugarcreek/Hiland) and forward Zane Wildermuth (Botkins).
Heidelberg needs a win and losses by Muskingum University at Capital University and Otterbein University against Wilmington College to earn a berth in the tournament. A Heidelberg win and a win by either Muskingum or Otterbein would create a three-way tie for seventh place in the league standings, while a Heidelberg loss and losses by both Muskingum and Otterbein would create a three-way tie for eighth. The OAC tiebreaker for tournament seeding is a head-to-head pairing beginning at the top of the standings. Entering the conference’s last day of the regular season, John Carroll University, Marietta College and Capital University sit in a three-way tie for first place.
Live stats for the game will be available at http://www.heidelberg.edu/statcrew/mbb/xlive.htm.
Heidelberg (7-17, 5-12 OAC) snapped a six-game losing streak in its last game, a 73-62 win Wednesday over Otterbein University. The Student Princes were led by Lee Renner’s (Gibsonburg) career-high 16 points and a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double from junior honorable mention All-OAC forward Nate Davis (Dayton/Stivers), his sixth of the season. Junior second-team All-OAC guard Dane Givner (Pittsburgh, Pa./Harvest Prep) had 13 points and sophomore forward Victor Fortkamp (St. Henry) added 11 as the Berg shot 50.0 (27-of-54) percent from the field and held a 40-30 advantage in rebounds.
Fourth-year head coach Anthony Gholson’s primary rotation includes junior guard Quintin Aden (Canal Winchester/Harvest Prep) and Givner in the backcourt and freshman Bryan Crawford (Delaware/Buckeye Valley), Davis and Fortkamp on the blocks. Givner leads the Tri-Color scoring attack, averaging 13.4 points per game and 4.7 rebounds per game, and is fifth in the OAC with 76 assists. Davis nearly averages a double-double with 11.6 ppg. and 8.8 rpg., ranking third in the league, is sixth with a 51.8 (101-of-195) shooting percentage and leads the circuit with 46 blocks. Fortkamp averages 10.9 ppg., 5.0 rpg. and shoots 54.0 (101-of-187) percent from the field, good for fourth in the OAC. Aden scores 5.6 ppg. and shoots 44.2 (46-of-104) percent from the field. Crawford scores 2.7 ppg. and averages 1.6 rpg.
The Student Princes score 69.5 ppg., are second in the OAC by averaging 37.7 rpg. and shoot 34.0 percent overall. They are also first in the OAC with 3.8 blocks per game.
Mount Union (10-14, 6-11 OAC) comes to Tiffin following a 62-57 win Wednesday over Baldwin-Wallace College. The Purple Raiders outscored B-W by 11 points in the second half to cap the comeback and were led by Nate Jacubec, who scored 17 of his game-high 24 points in the second half. Jimmy Wood finished with nine points and a team-high five rebounds as Mount Union shot 44.4 (12-of-27) percent and made three of its four three-pointers in the second half while committing just seven turnovers.
First-year head coach Mike Fuline will look to start Justen Little and Jacubec in the backcourt and Wood, Stevie Griffin and Matt Wier on the blocks. Wood leads the circuit in scoring (17.5 ppg.), tallies 5.3 rpg. and shoots 42.9 (138-of-322) percent overall, including 42.5 (57-of-134) from three point range, good for fourth in the league. Jacubec tallies 11.9 ppg., ranks sixth in the OAC with an 82.1 (64-of-78) free throw percentage and has passed for 41 assists. Griffin scores 9.1 ppg. and is fifth in the conference with a 47.1 (74-of-157) shooting percentage, including 41.9 (39-of-93) from beyond the arc. Wier averages 4.6 ppg. and 3.4 rpg. Little scores 2.3 ppg., shoots 44.3 (19-of-42) percent from the floor and is second in the OAC with 83 assists.
The Purple Raiders score 65.4 ppg., but are second in the OAC in holding their opponents to just 65.3 ppg. The Purple Raiders shoot 40.6 percent overall and are third in the conference by shooting 35.2 percent from long range and average 33.7 rpg.
The teams have split the series’ last 10 games, although the Purple Raiders have won three straight. Three of the last four games have been decided by seven points or less. In the last meeting between Mount Union and Heidelberg, a 67-49 Purple Raider win on Jan. 14 in Alliance, Fortkamp led all Student Prince scorers with 10 points. Davis added nine markers and Givner tallied eight points, four assists and five steals, but Heidelberg shot just 33.3 (17-of-51) percent from the floor and committed 22 turnovers. Wood led Mount Union with 18 points, T.J. Gillespie came off the bench to contribute 11 and Little tallied 10 points and seven rebounds as Mount Union shot 47.3 (26-of-55) percent overall.
If the Student Princes gain a berth in the conference tournament, they will play their first-round game Monday, Feb. 20 on the road.
Probable Starters: Mount Union (10-14, 6-11 OAC)
Justen Little—24-21—2.3 ppg., 44.2 FG%, 83 ast.
Jimmy Wood—24-24—17.5 ppg., 5.3 rpg., 42.9 FG%, 42.5 3FG%
Nate Jacubec—24-23—11.9 ppg., 82.1 FT% 41 ast., 25 stl.
Matt Wier—24-12—4.6 ppg., 3.4 rpg.
Stevie Griffin—23-12—9.1 ppg., 47.1 FG%, 41.9 3FG%
Probable Starters: Heidelberg (6-17, 4-12 OAC)
Quintin Aden—23-9—5.6 ppg., 44.2 FG%, 30 ast.
Dane Givner—24-24—13.4 ppg., 4.7 rpg., 76 ast., 29 stl.
Victor Fortkamp—24-24—10.9 ppg., 5.0 rpg., 54.0 FG%, 71.6 FT%
Bryan Crawford—19-10—2.7 ppg., 1.6 rpg.
Nate Davis—24-22—11.6 ppg., 8.8 rpg., 51.8 FG%, 46 blk.