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Second-Half Defense Leads to Men's Basketball Win Over Otterbein

Photo by John Swartzel
Photo by John Swartzel


WILMINGTON, Ohio - The Wilmington College men's basketball team held Otterbein University to nine points in the first 10 minutes of second half en route to a 71-61 Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) win at Hermann Court on Wednesday evening.

The win snapped a three-game losing skid and extended the Fightin' Quakers' winning streak over the Cardinals to 16 games.
Otterbein used the long-distance shot to great effect in the first half as the Cardinals would lead by as many as eight points (27-19) and connect on 6-of-11 from distance. Wilmington battled back to tie the game 31-31 on a Jeffery Mansfield three-pointer with 3:54 to play, but it was the visitors that led 38-35 at halftime.
The Quakers regained the advantage 47-44 thanks to a three-pointer from Colin Myers and a layup from Payton Smith at the 14:19 mark. A Jake Justice triple on the ensuing possession tied the game 47-47. Then came perhaps Wilmington's best defensive stretch of the season to date. The Quakers held the Cardinals to just four points over the next 10 minutes while scoring 17 points themselves to earn the conference win.
"We talked at halftime that we played with effort in the first half, but not desperate effort," Head Men's Basketball Coach K.C. Hunt said. "Our defensive intensity and communication was much better in the second half. That's the team that we need to be to win games in this league."
Wilmington finished 27-of-52 (51.9 percent) from the field, marking the third time this season it has shot over a 50 percent clip. The Quakers also made 6-of-17 (35.5 percent) from distance and 11-of-19 (57.9 percent) from the free throw line. Otterbein countered by making 23-of-53 (43.4 percent) from the field and 10-of-18 (55.6 percent) from beyond the three-point arc.
The Cardinals won the rebounding battle 34-21, but the Quakers forced 24 turnovers and had four steals.
Four Quakers scored in double figures including a career-high, 17-point performance Smith, who also had four assists and four steals. Abdul Kanu, Myers and Mansfield were the other Quakers to finish with over 10 points.
"When you're more engaged mentally, you tend to make more shots and cut with more of a purpose," said Hunt. "We definitely did that in the second half."
Justice led all scorers with 18 points for Otterbein in defeat. Dallas Patrick and Hunter Dennison also scored in double figures for the Cardinals.

Wilmington (5-9, 3-4 OAC) heads to Baldwin Wallace University on Saturday.