Wittenberg upsets No. 16 Wabash
Sullivan's nine 3-pointers leads to NCAC upset
WOOSTER, Ohio -- It might as well have been Senior Night all over again. Wittenberg senior Chris Sullivan dropped in a school and tournament record-tying nine three-pointers against Wabash in the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Tournament semifinals Friday night, but just two points from fellow senior Seth Hill sent the Tiger faithful in Timken Gymnasium into a frenzy.
Hill also sent the Tigers (19-7, 13-3 NCAC) into the NCAC Tournament finals after he pulled down a defensive rebound off a block from junior Clayton Black. With three seconds remaining, Hill went coast-to-coast to sink a buzzer-beater from the lane, breaking a 63-63 tie as time expired for the win.
Hill hit the game-winner, but Sullivan carried the Tigers all the way against the d3hoops.com No. 16 Little Giants (20-6) with 29 points on 9-of-12 shooting, including 9-of-11 from three-point range, and 2-of-2 from the free throw line.
The sharpshooting performance tied both the school and NCAC tournament records for made three-point field goals in a game. Sullivan already came close to the Wittenberg record, originally set by Lou Stahl against Allegheny in 1999, with eight long-distance makes at Ohio Wesleyan earlier this season on Feb. 9. In the same game, Sullivan broke the school records of 90 in a season and 210 in a career.
Wabash's Josh Estelle originally set the NCAC tournament record with nine three-pointers against Wooster on Feb. 26, 2000. Sullivan now owns 234 three-pointers in his Wittenberg career, 264 in his overall collegiate career, and 113 this season alone.
Sullivan hit 4-of-4 in the first half to send the Tigers into the locker room with a 29-24 lead. Over the first three and a half minutes back on the floor, Wittenberg built an eight-point lead, but Wabash scored nine of the next 12 points to position themselves within one point with 13:13 remaining in the game.
The Little Giants tied the game at 50 at the 7:10 mark on a fastbreak jumper from Wes Smith. He came right back and hit another jumpshot to give Wabash a lead they would hold for over a minute and a half, but Black took back a 57-56 lead with a close-range make with just over 4 minutes to go.
The Tigers led for three minutes before Wabash's Nick Curosh nailed a game-tying shot with 57 seconds left. The Tigers could not cash in on the next possession, but Wabash was cold, too, and after a missed shot and Black's block, Hill raced across the floor to hit the last-second game-winner.
Black finished the game with nine points and a team-high five rebounds, followed by eight points from junior Michael Cooper and six from junior Alex Brandt.
Cooper and Hill each turned in four rebounds, while Cooper led the team with three assists and Black blocked two shots.
The Tigers will play at 7 p.m. in Timken Gymnasium at the College of Wooster, against the winner of Friday night's other semifinal between fourth-seeded Ohio Wesleyan and NCAC regular season champion Wooster.