WOOSTER, Ohio – Senior Danyon Hempy, junior Keonn Scott, and junior Dontae Williams surpassed 20 points on the night, and the 21st-ranked College of Wooster men's basketball team held off a second-half surge from visiting Medaille College to win its season lid-lifter 110-100 on Tuesday evening at Timken Gymnasium.
Medaille's (0-1) Jonathan Smith canned a three-pointer with 4:07 remaining that pulled the Mavericks within 93-85. Wooster (1-0) senior Trenton Tipton, who moments earlier cut to the hoop for a lay-in, answered right back with a trifecta of his own. Scott followed suit with a bucket from range two possessions later, and Wooster maintained a double-digit lead for nearly the duration of the game.
At the game's onset, Wooster was nearly unstoppable, as the Fighting Scots opened the year 7-for-9 from the floor. Two fast-break dunks – one each by Hempy and Williams – headlined Wooster's season-opening 18-6 run, during which the Scots passed out five assists, three of which came from Scott. Steals by sophomore Khaylen Mahdi and Hempy stood out among the defensive efforts, while the Scots didn't allow the Mavericks to corral an offensive board until the first-half clock ticked down to 9:39.
Wooster's unselfishness was at the forefront of Tuesday's stat sheet, with the Scots tallying helpers on 24 of their 35 field goals. Hempy and Mahdi passed out five assists, while six players logged at least two.
Hempy and Williams finished with 25 points apiece. Coincidentally, Williams upped his career-high by three points, and his previous top mark of 22 came in last year's season-opener versus Muskingum University. Scott equaled his career-high with 22 points, while Tipton (12) and junior transfer Peyton Bennington (10) – a Wooster native – rounded out the Scots in double figures.
Williams ended the night with a double-double, and his 11 rebounds marked a new career-best. The junior drew a co-team-leading eight fouls, passed out three assists, and had one of Wooster's three blocks.
Other stats to note included seven rebounds by Bennington and three steals by Hempy.
Wooster shot 53.8 percent (35-for-65) from the floor, was 29-for-35 at the charity stripe, and finished with a 10-rebound advantage.
Medaille was led by Kirk Hawkins' game-high 30 points. The Mavericks' senior was 8-for-15 from the floor and 9-for-11 at the charity stripe. Smith tallied a double-double with 18 points and 10 boards.
The Mavericks made exactly half of their field goals at 36-for-72, while the team was 10-for-25 from three-point range and 18-for-21 at the charity stripe.
Wooster has now won 10 straight season openers.
Next, Wooster hosts the 26th annual Al Van Wie/Wooster Rotary Classic. The Scots take on Hiram College (2-0, 0-0 North Coast Athletic Conference) at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 20 and Wilmington College (1-1) at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 23. Fans can gain half-price admission with the donation of two boxed or canned food items, which will be donated to People to People Ministries. Additionally, a raffle sponsored by Rotary Club of Wooster will take place at halftime of both games with proceeds going to People to People Ministries.