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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Payne's shot lifts DePauw past Wittenberg

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Alex Payne
One thing was for sure going into Wednesday's matchup with DePauw and Wittenberg: a Tiger would walk away the victor. Fortunately, it was the DPU Tigers that cruised to a 68-66 win over visiting the Wittenberg Tigers in overtime to pick up its 12th win of the season and fifth in the North Coast Athletic Conference.

It wasn't smooth sailing for the host Tigers on the night. DePauw had to rally late to force the overtime period as senior Barry Flynn knocked down a pair of free throws with one second remaining in regulation.

In the overtime, DePauw held the early advantage, but Alex Fultz hit a three-pointer with 4.8 remaining to knot the game at 66-all. The Tigers called a timeout and head coach Bill Fenlon went to work instructing his squad. Coming out of the timeout, Pat Haggin inbounded the ball to Alex Payne, who had just checked back into the game. Payne took the ball the length of the court, rose and hit a floater as the buzzer sounded to give DePauw the victory.

"Believe it or not, what happened was what we were trying to make happen," Fenlon said. "Alex is our fastest guy end-to-end and he's also got this really weird knack of getting into a seam and making these floaters. I wanted to get the shooters out down the floor, I don't know if we were going to have time probably to rebound it, and give Alex a chance to make a play.

"He's just got that Euro-kind of thing about him. The thing about it is, no one will believe it, but that's his shot. That nine-foot, off-the-wrong foot, leaning-sort-of-deal. The kid makes it all the time."

The squads looked almost identical on paper and played as such in the first half. Neither team enjoyed more than a two-point lead early until DePauw went on a small run midway through the first half to seize a 22-13 advantage.

However, Wittenberg was able to rally back and chip away at the lead until finally tying the ball game up at 29-all with 2:39 remaining in the half when Steven Newell hit a three-pointer.

DePauw quickly responded with a three of its own when Michael Wilkison hit a drifting bomb from behind the arc to give DPU the lead at 32-29. Wittenberg tied the game once again at 32-all, but the hosts were able to put together a small run to end the first half with Pat Haggin and Barry Flynn connecting at the line to give DPU a 36-33 lead at the break.

Things remained close in the second half. DePauw enjoyed a six-point lead at one point, but its advantage hovered around the three-point mark much of the second half.

As they had in the first half, Wittenberg rallied back and pulled within one point at 52-51 with 3:40 remaining in the contest. It took the lead with 1:49 left in the game when Scott Masin broke free from his defender for an uncontested layup to give Wittenberg a 53-52 advantage.

DePauw tied when Alex Payne strode to the free throw line with 1:14 remaining and knocked down the first of two free throws.

It looked like it could be a repeat of last year's 56-55 loss as Masin hit another free layup with 15.6 left in the game giving Wittenberg a 55-53 lead. DePauw's Barry Flynn was fouled with one second left and cooly walked to the line and knocked down both to force OT.

One thing that plagued DePauw on the night was untimely turnovers. They only committed 13 on the night, but they came a key times in the contest. Fenlon acknowledged that fact following the game.

"We were able to get it where we wanted it, but we didn't always make the correct reads and the plays, but we able to keep pressure on them," Fenlon said. "We did shoot 50 percent from the floor. I just thought there were some careless, unforced turnovers at really bad times that hurt us a little bit and kept us from controlling things at a couple junctures in the second half."

The win was the eighth in 10 games for the Tigers and their fifth in the conference. Fenlon said after his team's rough start, it couldn't ask for a better position to be in.

"We stumbled a little bit against Allegheny here at home and that was a really bad loss for us. We just didn't play well and they played well. Beginning the league 0-3 was a pretty deep hole to try to dig your way out of and now we're 5-4. With one of those games at Wooster, I don't know you could have hoped for whole lot better result at this point than that," he said.

Flynn led the Tigers with 15 points, followed by Wilkison with 13 and Haggin with 12.

DePauw will host Ohio Wesleyan Saturday at 3 p.m.

At DePauw
Neal Fieldhouse

Wittenberg 33 22 11 -- 66
DePauw 36 19 13 -- 68

Individual Stats

Wittenberg -- Leahy 24, Masin 18, Walton 7, Newell 6, Fultz 5, Collins 2, Bond 2, Albertson 2. Totals: 20-54 FG, 19-23 FT, 66 TP.

DePauw -- Flynn 15, Wilkinson 13, Haggin 12, Botts 9, Payne 6, Rich 4, Sustarsic 3, Fernitz 2, Johnson 2, Burns 2. Totals: 25-49 FG, 12-18 FT, 68 TP.

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It's good to see that the Men's basketball team is coming together after a rough start to the season.

They can accomplish much more starting with a win this Saturday.

If you are a true fan of the game of basketball and want to see a team who likes to play, then you should watch this team. Their progress thru the year has been enjoyable to watch.

-- Posted by Lookout on Thu, Jan 24, 2013, at 10:05 AM

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