The DePauw University men's basketball team earned its second win of the season Friday, but it wasn't easy.
The Tigers (2-1) defeated Judson College in the opening game of the Mike Rokicki Community vs. Cancer Challenge at home, 88-84 Friday.
Judson, which trailed by as many as 12 in the second half, fought to within one point, 81-80, with 2:28 to go in the game on a lay-up from Justen Boyd.
DePauw built its lead back up to five when Mike Moore drained a pair of free throws with 23.7 seconds left in regulation to make it an 85-80 game, but Boyd made his way to the rim to draw the foul.
He knocked down a pair of free throws, and it was a three-point game with 18.6 seconds on the clock.
Moore drew another foul and hit one of two at the charity stripe, but Boyd cut through the lane again for the Eagles to cut Judson's deficit to two with 8.8 seconds left.
The Tigers' Reid Sakel drew contact underneath the basket just more than two seconds later and knocked down two free throws to give DePauw a four-point lead, which DPU was able to hang onto as time expired.
"I don't think we played very well at all," DePauw coach Bill Fenlon said. "Our energy level was low, we didn't help on defense, and we were just not very good in many phases of the game at all."
DePauw built an 11-point lead halfway through the first half at 27-16, but Judson went on an 8-1 run to cut the DPU lead to three, 28-25.
The Tigers' Stephen Schott, who led DePauw with 25 points, dropped in a bucket to make it a five-point game, and Sakel was able to knock down one of his two three-pointers on the night to push DPU's lead to eight, 33-25.
But Judson went on a 10-4 run late in the half to pull within one, 41-40.
Schott hit a pair of free throws as the first half drew to a close to take the Tigers into the halftime break with a 43-40 lead.
As the second half began, it looked as though DePauw would pull away as the Tigers opened with a 6-0 run, fueled by four early points from Schott.
But as the half continued, the Eagles clawed their way back into the contest, as DePauw just couldn't find an answer for Boyd.
The junior guard scored a game-high 28 points, including 22 in the second half. He was 10-of-18 from the field and hit eight out of 10 attempts at the free throw stripe.
"He was killing us," Fenlon said. "He was absolutely killing us. One of the problems was figuring out who was going to guard him. He's a big, strong, physical guard, and we just weren't helping out on him.
"Our defensive scheme as a whole (Friday) was just really, really poor."
Judson had four players score in double figures. Joe Gonnam scored 17 in the game, and teammate Anthony Cawthon finished with 19. Chris Oates scored 11 points against the Tigers.
DePauw also had four players in double figures, led by Schott. Austin Brown scored 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the floor while Moore had 14 points, hitting 4-of-9 from the field overall and 3-of-6 from behind the arc.
Sakel finished with 12 points, shooting 6-of-6 at the free throw line.
It was the second straight game in which DePauw boasted at least four players to score 10 points or more. Six Tigers finished in double figures in DPU's 79-71 loss to Chicago Nov. 19.
But Fenlon that his team's offensive output was not his most pressing concern.
"I'm not really worried about whether or not we can score," Fenlon said. "I'm concerned if guys who score for us have a chance of stopping anybody defensively."
Judson's 84 points was the most scored by a DePauw opponent this season, eclipsing the 80 points that Earlham scored against the Tigers' season-opening win Nov. 18.
"We just couldn't stop them all night," Fenlon said. "Luckily we made a couple of plays, and we hit our free throws, but if they had caught us, they would have won the game.
"But we did end up with the win, and that's all that matters in the end."
(CHANGE) The Tigers will be in action again Saturday at 4 p.m. against Ohio Wesleyan/Illinois Wesleyan in the Community vs. Cancer Challenge championship while Judson will take on Ohio Wesleyan/Illinois Wesleyan in the consolation match-up at 2 p.m.
Judson (84) -- Ream 2-7 0-0 5, Boyd 10-18 8-10 28, Gonnam 7-13 2-2 17
Cawthon 8-11 1-1 19, Oates 4-6 1-1 11, Bock 0-1 0-0 0, Scepanovic 0-0 0-0 0, Kohling 2-2 0-0 4. 33-58 FG 12-14 FT 84 TP.
DePauw (88) -- Brown 6-10 3-5 15, Moore 4-9 3-4 14, Schott 9-13 7-8 25, Sakel 2-10 6-6 12, McDonald 3-9 1-2 7, James 2-4 0-0 4, Werntz 2-4 0-0 5, Oilar 2-2 0-0 6, Gifford 0-0 0-0 0. 30-61 FG 20-25 FT 88 TP.
Judson 40 44 -- 84
DePauw 43 45 -- 88
3-point shooting -- Judson 6-13 (Ream 1-3, Gonnam 1-2, Cawthon 2-3, Oates 2-4, Bock 0-1), DePauw 8-19 (Brown 0-1, Moore 3-6, Schott 0-0, Sakel 2-8, Werntz 1-2, Oilar 2-2). Rebounds -- Judson 24 (Cawthon 7), DePauw 34 (McDonald 10). Personal Fouls -- Judson 18, DePauw 16. Turnovers -- Judson 18, DePauw 17.
Next Game -- (CHANGE) DePauw (2-1) will take on Ohio Wesleyan/Illinois Wesleyan in the finals of the Community vs. Cancer Challenge tomorrow at 4 p.m. while Judson will face Ohio Wesleyan/Illinois Wesleyan in the consolation game at 2 p.m.