Junior Nathan Scott and sophomore Andrew Russell combined for 49 points as the Wilmington College men's basketball team earned its first Ohio Athletic Conference win of the season with a 92-82 victory over Capital Wednesday in Fred Raizk Arena at Hermann Court.
Russell (Columbus, OH/Central Crossing) scored 11 of Wilmington's first 13 points in scoring a career-high 29 points. Scott (Sardinia, OH/Eastern), who comes off the bench for Russell, also had a career-high with 20 points. The pair combined to shoot 15-of-20 from the field and 9-of-13 from the three-point arc.
"Those guys were awesome," said Wilmington head coach K.C. Hunt. "They made shots; made some tough ones, but I have to give a lot of credit to our guards. We really did a great job of setting them up and finding them. They both had it going tonight, and we knew it as a team. I am proud of our team effort in that regard."
It's the third straight game that Scott has reached double figures, and the sixth time this season.
For Russell, it was the return to his early season form. The 6-7 forward was in the midst of a stretch in which he reached double figures just once in seven games. He averaged 6.1 points during that span. He went 10-for-10 from the free throw line, setting a Wilmington NCAA-era record for most attempts without a miss.
It was a great college game that featured 17 lead changes and nine ties. Seven of the nine ties occurred over the first 20 minutes.
Back-to-back three-pointers by Russell and junior Christian Jones (Hamilton, OH/Hamilton) gave Wilmington a six-point lead early in the second half. The Fightin' Quakers only surrendered the lead briefly midway through the half.
"It was a great team win," said Hunt. "We had contributions up and down the lineup. We really took the challenge in the second half to seize control of the game by making plays, and getting timely stops."
The final lead change came on a sophomore Kevin Lewis (Cincinnati, OH/Clark Montessori) three-pointer with six minutes remaining. It kicked off a 14-3 run which Lewis capped with a three-point play. He tallied eight of the 14 points during the pivotal stretch, and finished with 12 points.
Wilmington sealed the victory by hitting nine straight from the free throw line. For the game, the Fightin' Quakers were 22-of-26 from the charity stripe.
"I thought we did a nice job of getting to the line," said Hunt. "I was proud of us, especially down the stretch – making ten or 12 in a row to close it out."
Jones padded the stat sheets with seven points, a team-high five assists and four rebounds, while playing good defense on Capital's leading scorer.
"Christian is learning to play as 'The Man'," said Hunt. "He is the hunted every night. What he did tonight was take what the defense gave him. He had some terrific passes and showed what a team guy that he is. He just wants to win. Christian is a real good on-ball defender and took the challenge of guard (Tyrel) Jackson."
Wilmington (6-6 overall, 1-4 OAC) travels to Baldwin Wallace 3 p.m. Saturday.