Saturday men: Great at 8

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Mitchell Balser scored 18 points, including five 3-pointers, in Wittenberg's 86-55 win at Denison on Saturday.
Wittenberg athletics file photo

Wittenberg and Juniata upped their records to 8-0 with impressive wins while No. 8 UW-Oshkosh won a close game at Calvin. Elsewhere the OAC race is turning into a dog fight, Augustana stayed above the fray in the CCIW and Claremont-Mudd-Scripps got big lift.

Wittenberg shot 57 percent from the field and 62 percent from three in the first half, and the Tigers torched Denison, 86-55. Wittenberg (8-0, 4-0 NCAC) made its first eight shots, five of them three-pointers, and opened up a 21-7 lead. When the Tigers finally missed a shot, Connor Seipel grabbed the offensive rebound for Wittenberg and scored to continue the onslaught. Wittenberg finished 11-for-21 from the behind the arc with Mitchell Balser (18 points, five assists) leading the way. Box score

Juniata used a 17-7 run to close out Randolph-Macon 75-64 in the finale of its own weekend tournament. The Eagles outscored the Yellow Jackets 22-3 from the foul line where Juniata shot 82 percent (22-for-27). Marcus Lee paced Juniata (8-0) with 19 points and Daniel Noe scored 19 off the bench for Randolph-Macon (6-2), which lost for the first time since opening night.

Charlie Noone hit a go-ahead three pointer with under a minute to play and UW-Oshkosh escaped Van Noord Arena with a 79-74 win over Calvin. The Knights led 62-48 early in the second half before their offense went cold and the Titans rallied for the win. Ben Boots scored 22 points for UW-Oshosh (7-0) which will finish up its first semester with a west coast trip to play George Fox and Willamette.

Both ranked OAC teams lost on Saturday afternoon, creating an early mess atop the conference standings. John Carroll beat No. 6 Marietta at Ban Johnson Arena 93-82 as the Blue Streaks scored 27 points off of offensive rebounds. Six John Carroll players scored double figures, led by Jimmy Berger who had 19 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

Muskingum shot 53 percent in the second half and dumped No. 23 Baldwin Wallace 91-78. Marcus Dempsey scored 33 points for the Muskies (3-4, 2-1 OAC). Ryan Bruns scored 30 points and Nate Burger tallied a double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) as Ohio Northern topped Mount Union, 86-82, and moved alone into first place in the conference.

In other afternoon action, No. 6 Williams won its game but lost a key player heading into the holiday break. The Ephs defeated Springfield 68-51 behind Bobby Casey's 20 points, but Williams (8-1) also announced that versatile forward Kyle Scadlock will miss the remainder of the season with a knee injury that occured earlier this month. Austin Hutcherson scored 27 points on 10-for-17 shooting, and No. 18 Wesleyan stayed unbeaten with a 71-61 home win over Brandeis.

No. 4 Augustana took advantage of good defense and poor free throw shooting by Carthage to claim a 70-61 road win in CCIW play. The Vikings (6-1, 2-0 CCIW) held Carthage to 30 percent shooting in the second half and the Red Men hurt themselves by shooting 15-for-26 from the foul line. Chrishawn Orange scored 16 points for Augustana which shot 20-for-23 from the foul line.

Augustana sits alone in first place because Wheaton (Ill.) won a 98-95 double-overtime thriller at Elmhurst. Aston Francis scored 45 points on 14-for-29 shooting for the Thunder (6-2, 2-1 CCIW). Illinois Wesleyan edged North Central (Ill.) 68-66 on a layup at the buzzer by Colin Bonnett. Bonnett's winning shot turned away the Cardinals who fought back from a 19-point second-half deficit.

Chris Rodgers scored 31 points for WPI, but it wasn't enough to stop Salem State's momentum as the Vikings beat the Engineers 96-91 in overtime. Since losing to MIT by 48 on November 30, Salem State (7-2) has beaten Tufts, Babson and WPI in consecutive games.

Gwynedd-Mercy defeated Cabrini 103-92 in overtime to take a one-game lead on its rival in the CSAC race. Will Davis scored 29 points for the Griffins (6-1, 3-0 CSAC) while Tyheim Monroe piled up 27 points and 22 rebounds for Cabrini (5-2, 2-1 CSAC).