Wabash erased a ten-point second-half lead by Ohio Wesleyan to force overtime in the quarterfinal game of the North Coast Athletic Conference men's basketball tournament to force overtime before falling to the host Battling Bishops 89-86.
The sixth-seeded Little Giants (12-14) led 37-32 at halftime and pushed their lead to ten points in the first minute of the second half. The third-seeded Battling Bishops (18-8) responded by hitting seven of their next nine three-point attempts after going 5-of-21 from long range in the first half.
With OWU holding a 60-50 lead with 10:24 remaining in the second half, Wabash began cutting into the lead. Harrison Hallstrom scored on an easy layup after Ben Stachowski drove the lane and found him on a quick pass. Stachowski followed with a jumper before Jack Davidson added two free throws after an OWU turnover for a 60-56 score with 8:27 left in regulation.
Seth Clark hit another triple for the Battling Bishops to extend the lead to seven points. The "Wabash Always Fights" motto was evidenced over the span of the next two minutes as the Little Giants outscored OWU 8-0 to regain the lead on a Stachowski layup.
With Wabash ahead 64-63 the Battling Bishops scored the next four points to regain a three-point lead. Hallstrom evened the score once again with a basket and free throw with 3:45 left in the period. Alex Eberhard provided a lead with a three-point basket for a 70-67 advantage with 2:31 on the game clock.
The Little Giants had a chance to extend the lead to five but a jumper in the lane fell short. Will Orr tied the game at 70-70 with another three for OWU with 1:17 on the clock. Eberhard put Wabash in front again with a layup in the final 50 seconds. Nate Axelrod forced the five-minute overtime when he was fouled on the final drive of regulation and hit both free throws to tie the score at 72-72.
The Battling Bishops raced out to a seven-point lead in the first four minutes of overtime. The Little Giants battled back one more time starting with a three-point basket by Connor Rotterman. The freshman followed with another triple after Orr hit one of two free throw attempts to cut the OWU lead to two points with 15 second left in overtime. The Battling Bishops hit five of their final free throws to answer layups from Hallstrom and Davidson. Stachowski fired a three-quarter court shot just ahead of the buzzer, but the attempt sailed to the left of the backboard to close out the game with a three-point victory for OWU.
Hallstrom scored a season-high 21 points and grabbed a career-best 18 rebounds to finish with his ninth double-double of the season and help Wabash to a 51-39 rebounding advantage for the game. Davidson scored 17 points for the Little Giants. Eberhard and Rotterman each added 12 points.
Axelrod led all scorers with 23 points. Clark picked up 10 rebounds to go with 17 points. Orr added 16 points.