What a finish …!
Freshman wing Nick Felhaber’s 3-pointer from the left corner with 13 seconds remaining lifted Ohio Wesleyan to a come-from-behind 66-64 North Coast Athletic Conference victory over visiting Wabash Wednesday night at Branch Rickey Arena.
Felhaber entered the game after the Little Giants had taken a 64-63 lead on Brian Shelbourne’s jumper with 1:29 left to give Mike DeWitt’s Battling Bishops another 3-point threat on the floor. Following a Little Giant turnover on a traveling call, Ohio Wesleyan called a timeout with 23 seconds left to set up for what would be the game-winning shot.
The Bishops worked the clock to under two seconds when junior guard Andy Winters found Felhaber open on the baseline and hit the 6-foot-1 freshman with a perfect pass … and the rest was history.
“That’s why we put Nick in the game, we wanted another 3-point shooter on the floor,” DeWitt said. “And give credit to Andy for finding Nick open and getting him the ball.”
Coming into the game Felhaber was 23-for-56 from 3-point range for a 44.1 percentage. Winters’ assist was his 11th of the game.
Ohio Wesleyan (14-5, 6-3 NCAC), other than an early 2-2 tie, led from the opening tip, leading by as many as 11 behind the first-half scoring of Tim Brady, who went into the intermission with 17 points.
“We missed too many easy scoring chances in the first half after we went up by 11,” DeWitt said.
Wabash, which trailed 32-28 at the half, stayed within striking distance in the second half, taking its first lead at 60-59 on freshman guard Houston Hodges’ trey with 2:49 to play.
Brady, who led all scorers with 31 points, made four clutch free throws in a 43-second span to put the Bishops back on top, 63-62, with 1:49 to play to set up the nail-biting finish.
“Wabash is good team dominated by seniors,” DeWitt noted. “I was pleased with the way our players battled back when the game got close.”
Junior post Marshall Morris, who would finish with 20 points, hit four key baskets in a 4-minute stretch. That stretch saw junior Greg White bury a trey with 7:10 left to snap an 0-for-14 OWU slump from behind the arc as the Bishops went into the final 3:39 up 59-55 on a Morris three.
“Marshall’s scoring, combined with Tim’s free throw shooting, kept us in the game and gave us the opportunity to win the game at the end,” DeWitt said. “All in all, it was a great team effort.”
Ohio Wesleyan, shooting 50 percent (12-for-24) in the second half, finished with a 25-for-61, 41.0 game percentage. The Bishops finished 3-for-17 in threes while adding 13 of 20 free throws.
Hodges and Aaron Zimmerman led Wabash with 19 and 17 points, respectively. They were a combined 6-for-9 from behind the arc. The Little Giants, after shooting 51.9 percent (14-for-27) in the second half, finished with a 42.1 percentage.