In a rollercoaster of a game, DePauw Men’s Basketball, outlasted Oberlin in the opening round of the NCAC tournament, winning 66-62 Tuesday evening in Neil Fieldhouse and claiming their first post-season win in four years.
The Tigers led by as many as fifteen points in the first half and went into the break with a 45-32 advantage over the Yeomen. Oberlin started the second half at a frantic pace, scoring the opening 12 points of the half and keeping the Tigers 0-9 on shooting in the first six minutes. Lone senior Andrew Kus said the start of the half was less than ideal, but the team was prepared for it. “That run by Oberlin made us anxious, and losing a lead is never fun. But we expected them to make a run,” Kus said. “Those guys are talented, and we would be foolish to think they wouldn’t make it tough on us.”
With 11:41 to go in the game, Oberlin claimed their first lead of the contest 52-50. The very next play, Sophomore Nick Felke hit a three pointer, regaining the lead for DePauw. The Tigers lead the rest of the way. Kus said the team handled the Oberlin surge the correct way. “We responded with maturity, and a bunch of different guys contributed in us regaining and holding the lead.”
DePauw sealed the victory by claiming five consecutive offensive rebounds in the waning minutes to run out the majority of the clock and keep the ball out of Oberlin’s hands. Kyle Kopchak, a DePauw senior in attendance, said the second half was a classic to watch. “It was played at a fast and entertaining pace. Both teams came out swinging.It was must see.” Kopchak said.
Felke and Sophomore Caymn Lutz, both lead Depauw in scoring with thirteen points on the night.
The Tigers will travel to Wooster where they will play the top seeded Fighting Scotts, Friday at 5:30 p.m. “We move forward with the same mindset we’ve had all year…Wooster is a really good team. Friday should be fun,” said Kus.