December 30, 2013

Scots Go Wire-to-Wire Again, Beat Hanover 63-53

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WOOSTER, Ohio – The College of Wooster led wire-to-wire for the second night in a row at the "Mose" Hole/Kiwanis Classic, this time defeating Hanover College 63-53 during a Monday night affair at Timken Gymnasium. The Fighting Scots were the only team to finish 2-0 at the 51st annual event, with Thiel College having knocked off Illinois College 56-45 earlier Monday, which gave each of those squads a split in this year's predetermined match-ups.

Similar to Sunday, Wooster (10-1) got off to a hot start. The Scots opened up a 9-0 lead against Hanover (6-4), courtesy of two 3-pointers by Xavier Brown and one from Scott Purcell. After the Panthers cracked the scoreboard, Brown dropped in another from outside, giving Wooster a stretch of four 3-pointers in as many possessions and a 12-2 cushion.

About 90 seconds later, Brown hit yet another 3-ball as he started out 4-for-4 from beyond the arc and the Scots were ahead 15-5.

Xavier Brown
Xavier Brown connected on each of his first four 3-point attempts en route to 19 points and tournament MVP honors.

Wooster extended its advantage to 14 a couple of times – 21-7 and 24-10 – but Hanover played its way back into the game, pulling within 35-26 by the halftime break.

The Panthers continued to close the gap in the second half, even getting within one (39-38) on a Matt Wehner 3-pointer.

It was 43-41 around the 8:50 mark when the Scots made their move. They scored on seven of their next eight offensive possessions, with Josh Kipfer's offensive put-back giving them a 57-45 advantage with 3:43 to play. Wooster stayed ahead by three possessions the rest of the way.

Statistically, the Scots, who made 7-of-14 3-pointers overall, clamped down on Hanover defensively, holding the visitors to 30.4 percent from the field (17-of-56). Wooster also wound up with a plus-six rebounding advantage.

Brown cooled off after his fast start, but still led all scorers with 19 points en route to the tournament MVP award. He had a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds on Sunday.

A late burst gave Doug Thorpe 14 points against the Panthers, and for the second-straight game, Kipfer wound up just one board shy of a double-double. In fact, his line was identical – 12 points and nine rebounds – to the previous night.

Kyle James and Matt Wehner of Hanover tallied 14 and 12 points, respectively.

Joining Brown with all-tournament honors were Purcell (defensive MVP), Kipfer, James, Wehner, Brandon Berry of Illinois College, and Thiel's Khari Bess.

The Hanover game marked the Scots' final non-league tilt of the regular season, as they will start up North Coast Athletic Conference play again this Saturday night with a visit from Denison University (4-6, 0-3 NCAC) at 7:30 p.m.

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