Allentown, Pa. – The Wittenberg men's basketball team captured their first win of the 2018-19 season, defeating the Gophers of Goucher College 65-51 in the opening game of the Scotty Wood Classic hosted by Muhlenberg College. The No. 11 ranked Tigers took their first lead of the game from Goucher late in the first half, going up 22-21 after the Connor Seipel free-throw with just over three minutes before the break, holding on to the 27-25 advantage at the half. Wittenberg brought the energy out of the intermission scoring the first seven points of the second half, holding Goucher to scoreless through first three minutes of action while forcing three Gopher turnovers to start the second half.
It was a slow start for the Tigers, battling against an early Goucher lead through the first half. The Gophers took an early 10-5 advantage five minutes into the action. The Tigers found their stride closing out the first, holding Goucher scoreless through the final six-plus minutes of action. After Wittenberg took their first lead of the game, the Tigers would extend their lead from the charity stripe, converting on nine of 15 trips to the line through the first 20-minutes of play. Jake Bertemes found Seipel twice in less than a minute on back-to-back Tiger scores to start the second half and pushing the Wittenberg lead out to 31-25. Jordan Pumroy gave the Tigers a ten-point advantage, fueling the second half lead after James Johnson picked up the steal. Wittenberg would not hold back for the final 15-minutes, maintaining their lead over the Gophers. As the game came down to the final 10-minutes, the Wittenberg lead jumped out to 53-38 and then 56-40. The Wittenberg defense held Goucher to shooting just 45 percent from the field throughout the second half, allowing just one three-point shot in six attempts to fall.
Who Stood Out
Seipel would lead the scoring effort for the red and white in the season opener, posting 20 points, while reeling in eight rebounds. Three Tigers finished in double-digit scoring figures, as Landon Martin recorded 12 points on four of six shooting with two rebounds and an assist. Rashaad Ali-Shakir added 11 points to the Wittenberg offensive effort, knocking down four of eight attempts with three coming from deep range. Ali-Shakir added two rebounds, two assists, and a steal to his credit on the night. Pumroy would finish with eight points, leading the Tiger defense with six steals.
From The Bench
"Happy to get our first win of the year. Proud of our guys for getting the win when we didn't play our best, and excited to play again tomorrow," said head coach Matt Croci.
Take a �� inside the numbers of @WittenbergHoops first match-up of the 2018-19 season, as they take on Goucher College this afternoon in the Scotty Wood Classic!— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 16, 2018
��️: 3:00 PM
��: Muhlenberg College
��: https://t.co/ydn2XQeCla #TigerUp pic.twitter.com/3OJoD0s5g8
It is close to tip-off time for @WittenbergHoops from the Scotty Wood Classic at Muhlenberg College, and for senior Mitchell Balser it is his last first regular season game. Let's hear what the lone Tiger senior had to say before the game! ��️ #TigerUp pic.twitter.com/BupHfFHN4y— Wittenberg Athletics (@WittAthletics) November 16, 2018
Wittenberg will take on Juniata at 3:00 PM on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the final game of the Scotty Wood Classic from Muhlenberg College.