Greencastle, Ind. - Coming off a convincing win over ninth-ranked Wittenberg on Wednesday night, DePauw faced yet another ranked opponent when 22nd-ranked Ohio Wesleyan rolled into Neal Fieldhouse today. Following a hard-fought battle the Tigers fell to the Battling Bishops, 75-64.
With the loss the Tigers dropped to 11-4 on the year and 6-2 in North Coast Athletic Conference play, while Ohio Wesleyan improved to 12-3 and 6-2 in the NCAC.
To put it simply, Saturday's contest was a game of runs. DePauw jumped out to a 15-3 lead over the first six minutes but, following a timeout, the Battling Bishops answered with their own 16-3 run and took the the lead with 8:07 on the clock.
Ohio Wesleyan stretched its lead to as much as eight before the Tigers closed the half on a 15-4 run for a 39-36 lead at the intermission. Both teams benefited from the long ball as DePauw shot 50.0 percent (4-8) from three-point range and the Bishops shot 41.7 percent (5-12) from deep.
DePauw's Tommy Fernitz nearly had a double-double in the first half leading all scorers with 11 points and eight rebounds.
The second half proved to be just as tight as the score was tied five times and featured three lead changes. Through the first seven minutes of the half the Tigers held a slim lead and were able to go shot for shot with the Bishops.
Ohio Wesleyan regained the lead with 8:08 left on a layup by Reuel Rogers. The Bishops pushed it to six before DePauw appeared to gain some momentum cutting the lead to just two with 3:03 remaining.
Taylor Rieger converted a three-point play with 1:36 left and Ohio Wesleyan hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final 55 seconds to seal the win as DePauw scored just three points in the final three minutes.
Ohio Wesleyan's Seth Clark had a game-high 18 points and added six rebounds and three steals. Rieger and Nick Felhaber added 12 and 11 points, respectively. Claude Gray rounded out the Bishops' double-digit scorers with 10.
Adam Botts and Fernitz each scored 16 for the Tigers and Fernitz also nabbed his sixth double-double of the season with a career-high 18 rebounds. Michael Wilkison added 14 points including a 4-8 mark from three-point land.
The Bishops dominated off the bench outscoring DePauw 24-6 in bench points. Both teams were strong in the paint as each team tallied 28 points down low. The Tigers won the battle of the boards, outrebounding Ohio Wesleyan 36-31.
DePauw returns to action Wednesday, January 22, when they travel to Crawfordsville, Ind. to take on Wabash College. This rivalry match is scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. tip.