Wooster Gets Past DePauw 74-67 in NCAC Tourney Preview

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WOOSTER, Ohio – On "Senior Day" at The College of Wooster, it was appropriate that Justin Hallowell and Matt Fegan, making their final regular season appearance at Timken Gymnasium, hit a series of big shots late to lift the 22nd-ranked Fighting Scots to a 74-67 victory over DePauw University Saturday afternoon in the North Coast Athletic Conference teams' regular season finale.

Ironically, the two will match-up again on Tuesday night in the opening round of the NCAC Tournament, with Wooster (21-4, 12-4 NCAC) as the No. 2 seed and DePauw (13-12, 7-9 NCAC) the seven.

Saturday's game was tied for the seventh time at 58-58 with 5:30 remaining, when Hallowell connected on back-to-back 3-pointers, both assisted by Fegan. The former also blocked a shot on the other end during that sequence, which put the Scots ahead by six (64-58).

The Tigers ran off the next six to tie it one last time, then Xavier Brown responded with a short jumper on the ensuing possession to give Wooster back the lead (66-64). The Scots followed with two defensive stops and a Fegan 3-pointer, assisted by Hallowell, to go in front by two possessions again (69-64).

DePauw trimmed it to 69-66 on a pair of free throws at the 1:06 mark, but then Hallowell earned a trip to the line, sinking both to make it a five-point game (71-66). The Tigers never pulled within a single possession the last 48.3 seconds.

Wooster led the entire first half, including by as much as 18-6 as the hosts got off to a hot start. However, the Scots only scored six points, all by Jake Mays, over the last five minutes, allowing DePauw to cut the margin to 33-28 by the break.

The Tigers tied it at 33 less than 90 seconds into the second and neither team was ahead by more than six until a pair of Hallowell free throws sealed the final seven-point outcome.

Statistically, Wooster gave up a season-best 52.0 percent on field goals (26-for-50) to an opponent (the previous best was DePauw's 50.0 percent in the Tigers' 75-66 win Jan. 14), and was slightly outrebounded 29-28.

The Scots overcame it, though, with a solid performance from 3-point range, hitting 8-for-19 (.421) as well as overall, winding up at 49.1 percent from the floor (26-for-53). Wooster also committed three less turnovers than DePauw (11-8).

Hallowell paced the Scots in scoring with 22 points, including 4-of-6 3-pointers, and added five rebounds and two blocks. Joining him in double figures were Josh Claytor, Brown, and Evan Pannell with 12, 11, and 10 points, respectively, while Fegan passed out a game-high seven assists.

The Tigers' Barry Flynn caused problems for Wooster on the inside, tallying 23 points and eight rebounds, while Sean Haseley provided a well-balanced line of 12 points on 5-of-5 field goals, five boards, and five assists.

Tuesday's tip time is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.