Crawfordsville, Ind. – The No. 13 Wittenberg men's basketball team took on No. 20 Wabash College in their second d3hoops.com Top 25 matchup of the season, falling on the road to the Little Giants, 96-83. Wittenberg trailed 41-29 at halftime and was unable to overcome the Wabash lead, which extended out to as much as 23-points in the second half. The Tigers finished the night, converting on 40 percent of their field goal attempts, and knocking down 21 of 23 attempts from the charity stripe. Senior Mitchell Balser led the comeback effort in the second half, posting a career-high 34 points and finishing with five rebounds. A scoring stretch which involved six consecutive Balser three-pointers brought Wittenberg back to within 11-points, the Little Giants fended off the late Tiger attack for the in the North Coast Athletic Conference battle. Wittenberg moves to 11-3 on the season and 5-2 in NCAC action.
The Tigers battled the Little Giants through the early going, as neither team found much success from beyond the arc after the first 10 minutes of the action elapsed. Jacob Bertemes scored 10 of Wittenberg's first 15 points of the game. Wittenberg fended off an 8-0 Wabash run midway through the first half, cutting the Little Giant advantage to 26-21 after Jordan Pumroy knocked down a three-point shot to stop the run. The Tigers trailed Wabash 41-29 going into the intermission, as Wittenberg converted on just 12 of 28 from the field, while the Little Giants were comfortable on their home floor expelling a 60 percent shooting mark from the floor. Wittenberg was led by Balser in the second half, as the Centerville native scored all 34 of his points in the final 20 minutes of the game. Balser shot the lights out of the gym for nearly six minutes, entering the game with just under eight minutes remaining. Balser scored on six straight attempts from beyond the arc, while finishing the night 12 of 12 from the free-throw line.
Who Stood Out
Landon Martin provided 11 points all in the second half, finishing with four assists and two rebounds in 24 minutes on the night. Bertemes finished with 14 points, coming up with three rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Wittenberg will return home on Saturday, Jan. 12 to faceoff against NCAC rival the College of Wooster. Tip-off against the Fighting Scots is set for 7:00 PM.